RTÉ ANNOUNCES NEW REGIONAL STRUCTURES
21 September 2012: RTÉ announced today arrangements for its regional operations which will create new partnerships with a range of third level institutions and a saving of over a million euro on infrastructure costs.
RTÉ operations in Sligo, Dundalk, Galway, Athlone and Waterford will move to the local Institutes of Technology. All regional correspondents will continue to provide extensive coverage from their existing regions and while some other staff roles will be reviewed, there will be no job losses as a result of these changes. RTÉ is also pleased to confirm that it will immediately advertise the post of Western correspondent which has remained vacant since Jim Fahy retired in January.
These developments place RTÉ at the centre of technological and educational innovation and link it to a future generation of media industry leaders.
They continue RTÉ’s stated policy of seeking new external partnerships. The Director General has already indicated that this will form an important part of RTÉ’s strategy for the next five years. RTÉ will continue to seek opportunities for development in this area with other Third Level institutions in these regions and others.
Over the next few weeks, joint working groups will be established between each IT and RTÉ to look at the range and potential of these new relationships.
The new plan will begin from January 2013.
As part of the re-structuring, RTÉ has already re-deployed journalists from Cork, Limerick and Belfast to Dublin. Nuacht staff have moved from Donnybrook to Connemara. From January Nuacht Radio will broadcast from Casla. It will also be the base from where the first-ever Irish language online unit will operate.
RTÉ offices in Cork and Limerick will be maintained. Nationwide will remain in its location in the Cork base. The new afternoon programme Today will be broadcast from there from November. In Limerick, the regional office and RTÉ lyric fm remain in place, while RTÉ has now accepted an invitation to participate with Limerick County VEC in the country’s first secondary school media studies course. This will be for students in Coláiste Chiaráin, Croom, County Limerick. The size of the Belfast office will also be reduced. The Breakfast with Hector programme on RTÉ 2fm is also in discussions with GMIT as part of the new initiative.
RTÉ anticipates that these new partnerships in the regions will complement those already established by the organisation with other Third Level Institutions. Currently, RTÉ News has annual work placement programmes with DCU, UL and NUIG. There are also existing relationships between Nuacht RTÉ and NUIG, involving internships and input into courses. It has also established an internship programme for Irish language students with DCU and UCD.
The Presidents of the five Institutes of Technology have welcomed the new partnerships with RTÉ.
Professor Ciarán Ó Catháin said that: “Athlone Institute of Technology is delighted to partner with RTÉ in providing studio facilities for the national broadcaster. This will help ensure that events and news from the Midlands will continue to form an important part of RTÉ's news output.”
Dr. Richard Hayes, Head of the School of Humanities in Waterford Institute of Technology commented that: “WIT is delighted to be part of this initiative. Both organisations have complementary skills and expertise and we look forward to a long and fruitful relationship.”
GMIT President Dr. Michael Carmody said: “The College of Tourism and Arts in GMIT is delighted to partner with RTÉ. The association with RTÉ and its expertise in modern media technologies will add a new dimension to our Bachelor of Arts ( Honour) in Film and Documentary programme, along with providing work experience and employment opportunities for our students and graduates”.
President of Dundalk Institute of Technology (DKIT) welcomed the announcement. Dr Denis Cummins commented that: "We recognise the strategic importance to the North East region of having our national broadcaster RTÉ present and we are therefore delighted to be in a position to collaborate with them. In particular I see great benefits for our Film and Multimedia departments”.
And Professor Terri Scott, President of Institute of Technology, Sligo said that “As a key driver of innovation and economic growth in our region, IT Sligo welcomes the opportunity to partner with RTÉ in servicing the current and future needs of the North West. We are excited about the mutual benefits that will emerge from working together:”