The Irish Times reported yesterday that RTÉ is planning substantial job cuts and a 15% pay reduction for its highest-earning presenters as part of a financial restructuring to save €60 million over three years.
According to the report, about 200 job cuts are envisaged by senior figures in the organisation, and the “staff headcount reduction” is needed by the end of 2020.
The plan also envisages the closure of RTÉ’s Limerick studio next year. Lyric FM will not be closed, but it will no longer be based in Limerick. It will operate instead from Cork and Dublin and will be “much reduced” in size, say sources. RTÉ says it will continue to provide “a mid-west news service” in Limerick.
The Irish Times also reports that an indefinite pay freeze will be introduced for all staff apart from senior management, who will take a 10% pay cut. It is expected the role of all staff will be reviewed to ascertain if people can be better deployed. Staff benefits will be reviewed and work practices reformed.
Dee Forbes, the director general, will take a 10% pay cut, along with the other members of the executive board and potentially other senior managers. Members of the RTÉ Authority will also waive their fees in future.
Recent accounts show Ms Forbes receives a salary of €250,000, a €25,000 car allowance and pension contributions of €63,000 – bringing her total remuneration package to €338,000. Salaries for the 10 highest-paid presenters amounted to €3 million in 2016.