Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald Launches RTÉjr
15 April 2013: The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald T.D., joined RTÉ DG Noel Curran and Head of Children's Content Sheila de Courcy to launch RTÉjr, the new dedicated digital children's channel on TV, radio, online and mobile.
Speaking at the launch, the Minister said: “I am delighted to launch RTÉjr and would like to compliment RTÉ on this wonderful initiative. We talk a lot about cherishing our children; and what an innovative way to do so by the development of this dedicated service for children in Ireland. Noel Curran is presiding over an organisation that is managing to make progress during some of its most challenging times, and quite properly, is prioritising children. I have no doubt that RTÉjr will be entertaining and educational, sparking our children’s imagination and supporting childhood development.”
Noel Curran, Director-General, RTÉ, said: “The launch of RTÉjr on multiple platforms re-affirms children’s and young people’s content as a core public-service priority for RTÉ. While it has been a challenge, financially, to deliver within existing resources, I believe RTÉ has risen to the task. Now, parents and guardians in Ireland will have the dedicated children’s service that they should expect from a national broadcaster. Our children and young people, tomorrow’s generation, now have a dedicated indigenous service that will not only colour their uniquely Irish experience, but will hopefully provide a real breadth of entertainment, learning and pleasure in the years to come.”
RTÉ’s Cross-Divisional Head of Children’s Content, Sheila de Courcy, said: “This dedicated children’s service will allow children and young people to access, engage with, participate in and interact with an indigenous, home-grown service built around the needs of young people in Ireland. This exciting launch is a demonstration of RTÉ’s commitment to this important audience, and allows RTÉ the opportunity to serve them in the most effective way possible.”
This new service, aimed at 0-7 year olds, is part of a phased three-year strategy in the development of services for young people by RTÉ. An entirely non-commercial service, RTÉjr will allow children to watch, listen and play with brand new channels on television (on Sky, UPC and SAORVIEW) and digital radio from around 7am-7pm daily, as well as online and mobile services, allowing children to access original, entertaining and educational content that reflects their lives and is made especially for them. The launch will see RTÉ increasing its daily children’s content on television and radio to around 34 hours per day in addition to online and mobile content.
RTÉjr Television will feature 14 newly commissioned programme strands, while RTÉjr Radio will have a brand-new schedule from 7am – 7pm. Complementing the RTÉjr TV and radio channels, RTÉ will also launch a new and refreshed suite of digital platforms. Children will be able to watch, listen and play on the RTÉjr website or the new RTÉjr app, as well as catching up with over 40 hours of children’s content on RTÉ Player every day.
The launch of RTÉjr also marks the start of RTÉ’s Tots, Tweens And Teens Week, a weeklong event highlighting the variety and breadth of RTÉ’s services for under-18’s. Throughout the week children and young people will feature across the television and radio schedules and there will be special events including a unique Sleepover Safari in the Natural History Museum. During the week young people will deliver television continuity announcements and RTÉ Weather bulletins and they will present RTÉ Ten News. On Friday 19th RTÉ Radio 1 programmes throughout the day will feature young people and RTÉ 2fm’s Rick O’Shea will co-present his show with a young competition winner. Young people will also feature on the RTÉ lyric fm and RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta schedules and the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and RTÉ Concert Orchestra will engage with schools through workshops and collaboration.
RTÉjr launched today April 15th on television, radio, online and mobile. More information is available here www.rte.ie/rtejr/about
RTÉ’s Tots, Tweens & Teens Week runs from today April 15th to 19th inclusive.