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RTÉ to cut €1.5 million from news and current affairs budget as part of cost cutting effort

The department produces flagship programmes such as Morning Ireland and Prime Time.

Image: Mark Stedman/RollingNews.ie

RTÉ WILL CUT €1.5 million from its news and current affairs budget as part of an effort to reduce costs at the broadcaster by €60 million over three years.

Management announced the budget reduction to employees in the department during a staff meeting in recent weeks.

The department works across TV, radio and digital news. It produces flagship news and current affairs programmes, including Morning Ireland, News At One, Claire Byrne Live, This Week and Prime Time, along with the Nuacht service for TG4.

It is understood the department has a budget in the region of €30-35 million.

Staff at the station overwhelmingly rejected pay cuts in April, prompting RTÉ to say it would “consider other options as to how best to make the necessary savings”.

The target includes savings made from employees leaving the national broadcaster as part of a voluntary redundancy programme.

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RTÉ’s midlands correspondent Ciarán Mullooly retired last week after applying for the redundancy package in April. Ingrid Miley, who had been the broadcaster’s industry and employment correspondent, also left the station earlier this month.

RTÉ’s most recent annual report reveals that there were 301 people employed in the news and current department in 2019, a notable drop from 349 in 2017.

The broadcaster’s total operating costs for that year were €337.8 million and it had a total net deficit of €7.2 million.

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Céimin Burke

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