RTÉ postpones closure of long wave radio service

Wednesday 15 October 2014 23.25
The closure of the longwave radio transmitter has been postponed to 19 January
The closure of the longwave radio transmitter has been postponed to 19 January

RTÉ is postponing the closure of its long wave radio transmitter, the Managing Director of RTÉ Radio has told the Joint Committee on Transport and Communications.

Jim Jennings said what was evident was that more time was needed to engage with groups affected.

The closure has been postponed to 19 January 2015.

RTÉ had previously announced that it would be ceasing its service from the Clarkstown long wave transmitter on 27 October and migrating its Radio One service to digital platforms.

Mr Jennings said the decision to cease any RTÉ public service is not something that RTÉ takes lightly or without serious consideration.

He said: "We know that such decisions affect audiences who enjoy and rely on RTÉ's services.

"However, we also know that the public expect us to manage our operations and services efficiently and evolve our services as technology changes and audiences adapt.

"In balancing these broad considerations we have come to the decision that now is the right time to cease our long wave Radio One service after ten years on air."

Mr Jennings said an RTÉ delegation will travel to the UK next week to meet organisations and see if there is a better solution to the long wave issue.

He said RTÉ is doing all it can to engage with community groups.

RTÉ accepts that the window given for closure was too short and a longer window was needed, he added.

Separately, RTÉ News has announced that it is to appoint a new London Correspondent.

RTÉ News and Current Affairs Managing Director Kevin Bakhurst said it would be a smaller operation than before, but "would continue to provide the same high quality of coverage expected by the public of RTÉ News".

Mr Bakhurst said the appointment "has been in our plans for some time, but has been curtailed by the ongoing financial restraints facing RTÉ".

"Thanks to significant savings in closing our old office over the last two years as well as redeploying the staffing costs of the Europe Correspondent post we are now in a position to make an appointment."

The post will be advertised internally in the coming weeks.

Keywords: rte longwave radio