Belfast Telegraph

RTE presenters face 30% pay cut

Some of RTE's top presenters face a 30% pay cut as part of a wave of swingeing plans to reduce costs by up to 25 million euro.

The State broadcaster revealed it aims to save 15 million euro through redundancies, while a reduction already imposed on its top 10 paid presenters will be extended to the station's next 10 top earners.

Elsewhere its London bureau will be closed, while spending on sports rights will be down 25% and regional operating costs cut by 10%.

Director general Noel Curran said the moves were being made to regain financial stability and to invest in the digital future.

"The organisational objectives are forward-looking and positive," he told staff in a message. "But they also entail difficult decisions and changes in the short and medium term, so that RTE can sustain services and make renewed investments in its future."

The last round of redundancies at the TV and radio station, which began last autumn, is almost complete with approximately 190 departures to date.

However personnel costs remain roughly half of RTE's cost base. The new voluntary redundancy scheme will offer further incentives to staff to consider departure and assist in reducing cost and changing shape.

RTE said its intention was not only to eliminate the operating deficit that has existed since 2008, but to reduce costs by a further five million euro in order to enable investment and modernisation. Work practices and the technologies underpinning production and delivery across all platforms will also be changed, staff were warned.

Talks between management and staff's trade union on new work practice negotiations will begin after Easter.

There will also be a reduction in regional spend, with specific decisions that will affect news, radio and operational staff to be finalised over the next quarter. RTE vowed that it will not be reducing the hours of output and service delivery in regional programming, but will seek to bring about reductions in fixed costs such as leases and rents.

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