Statements & Speeches
RTÉ Statement on Land Sale, Restructuring and Voluntary Exits
RTÉ today announced that almost 9 acres of under-utilised land on the Donnybrook campus has been put on the market, with a guide price of €75m, and that Savills will manage the sale.
Says Dee Forbes, Director-General: "RTÉ has been operating with vastly reduced commercial and licence fee income, now in the region of €330m, compared to €440m in 2008, and has been under-investing in the organisation for nearly a decade now. That is unsustainable. The funds from the land sale will be used to invest in much-needed technology upgrades and in key digital infrastructure, to reduce debt levels, and to carry out other essential workplace improvements."
She said: "The reality is that RTÉ has maintained services and output on vastly reduced income and that is no longer sustainable. The current licence fee, at just over 40c a day, is I believe great value. Any notion that it be doubled is nonsense. What I am focused on is reform of the fee collection system to recover some €40m per annum that is lost to the entire Irish sector every year through evasion."
RTÉ confirmed that funds raised will not be used to against operational deficits. Dee Forbes continued: "This does not represent a ‘bonanza’ or a ‘windfall’ for RTÉ. Rather, RTÉ is playing catch-up in an industry and market that is evolving rapidly."
Dee Forbes has also today announced to staff some significant changes to RTÉ’s organisational structure, changes that will secure RTÉ’s relevance and survival as it becomes a smaller, more nimble organisation over the next 18 months. Wide-ranging changes to RTÉ's executive management structure will see new content divisions replace existing radio, television and digital divisions. As part of these changes, a voluntary exit programme phased over two years will be introduced in the near future. Full details are still to be finalised.
Ms Forbes added: "All of the changes and investment being planned are directly related to the necessary evolution of RTÉ to enable it to collaborate much more successfully, to compete realistically in a challenging market, and to better serve our audiences.”
For Information: Neil O'Gorman, Acting Corporate Communications Manager, RTÉ I (01) 2083989 I (087) 2077192