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RTE To Cut Presenters’ Pay By 30 Per Cent
30 Mar 2012 : By Steve Cummins
Noel Curran
RTE has announced that it will cut the salaries of its top presenters by a minimum of 30 per cent and it will also shut down its London office as it seeks to reduce costs by up to €25m by the end of next year

The State broadcaster revealed that it aims to save €15m through redundancies, while it will also extend pay reductions – currently enforced on its top 10 presenters – to the next 10 top earners as well.

The station’s London office, which provides commercial sales and news, will also close, while spending on sports rights will be cut by 25 per cent. There will also be cuts of a minimum of 10 per cent in acquisitions as well as savings made in regional operating costs.

The station’s director general Noel Curran announced the cutbacks to staff yesterday (March 29). He said the cuts were necessary so that the station can “sustain services and make renewed investments in its future”.

RTE hopes that the cuts will eliminate the projected operating deficit of €20m that has existed at the organisation since 2008 whilst a further €5m in cuts will enable them to invest and modernize. Curran added: “Today’s decisions are steps toward reaching these goals.”

RTE’s voluntary severance scheme that began last autumn is almost complete, with approximately 190 departures by the current date. There will be a new voluntary redundancy scheme to offer further incentives to staff to consider departure and assist in our reducing cost and changing shape.

Curran said: “We have preserved our programme output and services to the maximum since our revenues declined in 2007, and we will continue to do so. But changes in output costs cannot be avoided.”

Speaking about the cuts to some of its top earners, Curran added: “We have made clear our plan for targeted reductions in top talent fees by the end of 2013. I can confirm that we are on target for in excess of a 30 per cent reduction relative to the 2008 figures. Most contract discussions will in fact be completed by the end of the current year.

“This approach was extended over the last six months to include those in the Top 20 whose contracts are up for renewal. We are also on target for reductions in excess of 30 per cent for this group. We would like to acknowledge the commitment of all of these contracted presenters to our programme schedules.”

He added: “We are committed to seeking and achieving all available efficiencies and changes while protecting and preserving our services to the maximum. It is our strong belief that through such measures and innovations we will sustain RTÉ and protect vital public media services for the Irish public for the medium and long term.”





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