Sinn Féin Communications spokesperson David Cullinane TD said today that while the excessive pay of presenters and management at RTÉ has long been a barrier to reform at the public broadcaster, the other cuts announced this morning appear scatter-gun in approach and lack proper consultation.
Deputy Cullinane said:
“It has long stuck in the throat of people that RTÉ was asking for more money while paying its top presenters Celtic Tiger-type wages.
“Today’s announcement of a fifteen per cent reduction appears to be at least some acceptance of reality from the public broadcaster.
“It is about time RTÉ recognised the public anger that is out there on this issue.
“The other measures announced, however, are quite worrying.
“The closure of the Lyric FM studio in Limerick along with the entire digital radio network is a regressive move and one at odds with the remit of a national public service.
“The loss of 200 jobs next year is regrettable and must be carried out in full consultation with the relevant unions.
“As an interim measure, the Government should commit to increase the funding that is ringfenced for independent productions on RTÉ.
“This would alleviate some of the pressure on the broadcaster, while creating jobs in the regions and supporting our indigenous screen producers.
“Public broadcasting must be an incubator for local talent, and both RTÉ and the government need to re-embrace this function if we are to have any hope of a genuine public service broadcasting sector.”