RTÉ's Director General Dee Forbes has said that the broadcaster's financial results for the year are likely to be much better than was feared in the early part of the pandemic. 

In an update sent to all staff, Ms Forbes said that early in the crisis RTÉ had introduced a series of measures to reduce operating costs and deferred all but essential capital spending.

Big sporting events were cancelled or moved while the broadcaster also availed of the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme, all of which helped preserve cash and mitigate large falls in income.  

She said these efforts, when combined with very significant audience growth and a strong commercial recovery since late summer meant that RTÉ's likely financial results for the year will be much better than was initially feared.  

RTÉ plans to reopen its voluntary exit scheme in January with a target of 60-70 exits.  

It also plans to resume negotiations on personnel related cost reductions which had been paused during the pandemic, and it has accepted a recommendation from the industrial relations tribunal to pay staff increments. 

Funding announced in the budget to move the National Symphony Orchestra to the National Concert Hall has also been welcomed by the broadcaster. 

However, Ms Forbes said RTÉ is still not financially secure, and that in "more normal times" there is still a persistent gap between costs and income.

She said RTÉ cannot return to a stable financial position or make the investments it needs if the TV licence system is not reformed, and she said the establishment of the new Future of Media Commission , which looks at media funding, is a welcome development.  

Ms Forbes also told staff that record numbers of viewers and listeners have used RTÉ services and platforms during the pandemic and she thanked staff who she said had worked tirelessly to ensure that Irish people can trust their public media.