RTÉ Director-General Cathal Goan has told an Oireachtas Committee there is no truth to the media stories that the national broadcaster is facing bankruptcy or a deficit of €100m.

Watch the full Oireachtas committee hearing

Mr Goan outlined the current financial difficulties to the committee.

He said that due to further commercial income shrinkage at the beginning of this year, an 'unprecedented' revenue shortfall of €68m was identified.

He outlined the measures being taken to tackle this, including cuts of €10m in staff costs.

Mr Goan said pay cuts are now being voted on in RTÉ, which are 'nothing more than what many companies in the private sector have already introduced'.

He said this was unquestionably painful for staff given other cuts already experienced by budgetary decisions.

Answering questions from the committee members, Mr Goan said the figure of €68m was a projected revenue shortfall, and not a deficit.

RTÉ continues to take appropriate action to deal with it, he added.

On the issue of top level presenters' pay, he said the top ten presenters' pay is published two years in arrears, and that the salaries for 2007 will be published shortly.

He told the committee he will say nothing more about the fees for top talent because the information is confidential.

'RTÉ exceeds the statutory requirement for independent programming by 40 or 50% and that it will continue to do so when new statutory targets are set,' Mr Goan said.

Despite this commitment, he said some programmes will be cancelled internally and externally. But he said the aim is to do the least damage to the schedule in order to be ready for an upturn in commercial revenues.

Some committee members raised George Lee's previous work, and presenter impartiality on RTÉ. Mr Goan said he would not comment on the broadcaster's former Economics Editor.

On allegations of an anti-Government agenda raised by Fianna Fáil's Peter Kelly, he said there are as many opinions about the politics of RTÉ presenters as there are people in the country. He said that there are channels open to anyone who believes RTÉ is unbalanced.

He said presenters have to be adversarial, and that some construe it as antagonism, but others see it as constructive.

Mr Goan also said there will be an early retirement scheme in RTÉ and other options available.

He said that each staff member is ultimately entitled to decide if they will take a pay cut and when that decision is made they will deal with the consequences.

He emphasised that RTÉ will achieve the savings it has identified and that the intention is to break even, as it is its statutory obligation to do so.