RTE Director General Dee Forbes shared her thoughts on the “Today with Sean O Rourke” programme on Radio One earlier today.
How she could say paying €160 a year to watch RTE employees interview other RTE employees about RTE programmes (or their latest hair transplant/pet dying/marriage break up) was good value for money and keep a straight face was very commendable.
Even though most people with half a brain would suggest maybe cutting the salaries of the stations vastly over paid “stars,” the RTE boss reckons viewers should cough up more to enjoy rubbish like Dancing With The Stars, The Late Late Show, Ray Darcy and that woeful muck drama about 1916 they showed last year.
Dee Forbes said:
“The licence fee is 40c a day. I think it’s incredible value for money… quite honestly I think it should be double that.
“If you look to places like the Scandinavian markets where their licence fee over double that and you see what you’re getting for that, quite honestly the content is singing.
“What I’m saying to you is the more money we have to play with content the more we can do.”
A request has been made to the Government for a licence fee hike but no response has yet been received.
It has also been confirmed that 200 or more jobs will go at RTE, in a bid to turn around their dwindling financial situation.
RTÉ announced today that almost 9 acres of under-utilised land on the Donnybrook campus has been put on the market, with a guide price of €75m, and that Savills will manage the sale.
Dee Forbes said the sale is necessary as RTE has been operating with “vastly reduced commercial and licence fee income.”
“The funds from the land sale will be used to invest in much-needed technology upgrades and in key digital infrastructure, to reduce debt levels, and to carry out other essential workplace improvements.
“The reality is that RTÉ has maintained services and output on vastly reduced income and that is no longer sustainable.
“This does not represent a ‘bonanza’ or a windfall for RTÉ.
“Rather, RTÉ is playing catch-up in an industry and market that is evolving rapidly.