The Director General of RTE wants an increase in the licence fee ... seriously ????

Discussion in 'Letting Off Steam' started by MrEarl, Jul 12, 2017.

  1. MrEarl

    MrEarl Frequent Poster

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    I just could not believe this when I saw it....

    There is absolutely no way that the fee should be increased at this time.

    RTE are in serious need of proper restructuring and while that process would appear to have commenced, it is far from complete and until such time as all work has been concluded and the final situation clear for all to see, no new money should be put into the broadcaster.

    Thereafter, we all seriously need to look at whether or not RTE is fit for purpose. I am 100% in favour of having a national broadcaster holding both a tv station and a radio station. I further support the concept of TG4 (whether it be considered part of RTE, or entirely independent).

    But I do not support the national broadcasting company having two national broadcast tv channels and several terrestrial radio stations. There is absolutely no need for RTE to be trying to compete with other entertainment channels, that is not the function of a state broadcaster. There is simply no justification for it, in an age where numerous tv channels are available across all of Ireland, via satellite, digital transmission or cable - providing general entertainment, kids tv, news etc. Paying vast sums of money to buy in content such as Eastenders, or Homeland is simply crazy, when BBC1 and Ch. 4 can be accessed across all of Ireland.

    Likewise, holding several national radio stations is inappropriate at a time when we have multiple commercial stations available on the FM & AM spectrums, not to mention significantly more competition via digital transmissions.

    When I first heard that RTE were going to sell some of their surplus land at Donnybrook I was delighted, as it was long long overdue. However, then I heard they were intending to rebuild the set for Fair City elsewhere in the RTE campus, because the current location is part of the land RTE are selling - this simply defies belief ! Why not build the set on far cheaper land elsewhere ? It's hardly like the modern world we live in would not enable the cast and crew to transport themselves and their equipment to an alternative location (with a much cheaper carrying cost than a plot in a prime Dublin location).

    RTE needs to be broken up, with all non-core assets sold to the private sector. Funds raised form these sales could easily be reinvested in other worthwhile national projects - be it broadband for rural Ireland, housing, hospitals etc. Let us put our resources to best use and not continue to see funds tied up unnecessarily in a broadcasting company that we don't need.

    When all of the above has been done, then lets have a look at the payroll at RTE and see some justification for the salaries some of their staff are being paid. I've heard the argument from RTE in times past about having to pay "the going rate" to get top talent etc. but that's wrong - we don't need top talent, we need capable people and RTE have lots of them, many of whom do not need to be paid €200k - €450k per year.

    Finally, after all of the above has been properly attended to, then and only then, lets have a genuine look at what needs to be paid by way of annual licence fee to run our fit for purpose national broadcaster.
     
    S.L.F, becky, michaelm and 2 others like this.
  2. dub_nerd

    dub_nerd Frequent Poster

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    Excellent post Mr. Earl. However, turkeys do not vote for Christmas. Your concerns may resonate with the public at large, but how do you persuade the various empire builders in RTE and vested interests in government to listen to them? Water protests notwithstanding, Ireland is not good at organised dissent.
     
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  3. Logo

    Logo Frequent Poster

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    RTÉ Salaries (2016):
    1. Ryan Tubridy: €495,000
    2. Joe Duffy: €416,893
    3. Marian Finucane: €295,000
    4. Sean O’Rourke: €290,096
    5. Miriam O’Callaghan: €280,445
    6. Bryan Dobson: €195,816
    7. George Lee: €179,031
    8. Richard Crowley: €174,120
    9. Colm Hayes: €169,992
    10. Derek Mooney: €168,871
    RTÉ claims that is has achieved cuts of 40pc in relation to the fees earned by the top ten paid personalities as compared to 2008.

    (*Source http://evoke.ie/news/irish-news/rte-top-ten-highest-paid-presenters).
     
    MrEarl likes this.
  4. Ceist Beag

    Ceist Beag Frequent Poster

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    Whatever about those working full time, paying Marian Finucane €295K per year for a weekend shift is obscene. I know she earned nearly twice that for the same role previously so RTE will claim they have made a significant cut in her salary but it is still an outrageous amount of money for a few hours a week.
     
  5. Logo

    Logo Frequent Poster

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    Last edited: Jul 12, 2017
    Does Marian Finucane work at weekends? I've listened to RTÉ radio 1 around midday and she must be on permanent holiday with Brendan O'Carroll (aka Mrs. Brown) et al occupying her slot for the "in-depth interviews, human interest stories, consumer and lifestyle news as well as a lively panel discussion on issues of the week and newspaper reviews." Maybe I tuning at the wrong time?
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2017
  6. michaelm

    michaelm Frequent Poster

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    Last edited: Jul 12, 2017
    I agree with pretty much everything in MrEarl's post, although I'd scrap Fair City too and I'd rather see a slimmed down RTE being Ad free if doable.

    The TV licence, in its current guise, has had its day. There has to be a simpler, less antagonising, way to fund public service broadcasting. Surely the €200m or so raised by the current licence can instead be raised by a levy on broadband/TV packages provided by Virgin, Sky, Eir and others. 10% of households dodge the licence fee anyway despite the constant stream of threatening (wasteful) adverts, Garda and court time is also wasted on this . . many don't pay the court fine and instead are escorted to prison and detained for a few hours . . also, I think the collecting agent (was An Post, now I'm not sure) gets something like an 8% cut . . the whole thing is crazy and wasteful.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2017
  7. MrEarl

    MrEarl Frequent Poster

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    This just gets better ....

    See here

    Now Ms. Forbes has also said she wants to have all cable companies charged for carrying the RTE channels .... if that happens, then the cable companies increase their charges and we end up paying for RTE twice (because we already pay for it, via the license fee ... in addition to having to sit through lots of tv adverts). She has some cheek !

    RTE needs to be radically downsized and redesigned so it's fit for purpose - then we can have a genuine look at costs and see if an increase in the license fee is justified.

    Anyone know what RTE (or should I say "we") are paying Ms. Forbes btw ?
     
    odyssey06 likes this.
  8. demoivre

    demoivre Frequent Poster

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    There isn't a network in the world would be beating down the front door of any of these presenters if they got their P45s. Who'd stop watching Prime Time if O Callaghan wasn't presenting? Genuinely :rolleyes: ? Jokers running Are T E need to understand the concept of Opportunity Cost. Maybe Lee could explain it to them :rolleyes:.
     
  9. Logo

    Logo Frequent Poster

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    Either RTÉ or Dee is taking the pee because I've searched for DG's wages and can't find anything for 2017. Noel Curran (former RTÉ DG - 2011-2016) was paid a salary of €250,000 in 2011.

    (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noel_Curran)
     
  10. peemac

    peemac Frequent Poster

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    Last edited: Jul 12, 2017
    What people don't seem to understand when they complain about the top salary earners in rte is that each and every programme they present are very profitable for rte. The late late show is rte's most profitable show.

    The biggest net loss is live sport especially gaa and soccer.

    On top of that rte are only allowed 6 minutes of adverts per hour - tv3 can have 12

    Maybe a better option would be to increase the advert time to 9 minutes.


    Funny how very few have an issue paying sky 29.50/month +++ for 15min of adverts and self promotion an hour and an awful lot of dross - most of which is free to air.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2017
  11. MrEarl

    MrEarl Frequent Poster

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    Hello,

    Do you not think that RTE would maintain similar viewing figures on the likes of the Late Late Show if the had an alternative presenter, at say 33% of Tubs package, because I do ? Let us not forget that RTE is on presenter No. 3 - No. 4 at this stage.

    I think the example of Prime Time is an even better one - would it lose significant viewing figures if O'Callaghan and McCullagh were not presenting it, because I seriously do not think so. The list goes on, when it comes to RTE's home grown programmes......

    That's a fair point to raise, but as someone who is forced to pay my annual licence fee, I do not beleive that I should have to put up with the same level of tv adverts. However, if you told me I don't have to pay a licence fee anymore and instead, have to put up with 12 minutes of tv adverts per hour on RTE I would be fine about that - because I could opt out if I was not happy to watch the adverts.

    I think the benefit of being able to opt in or out of Sky's programming is an important issue and fundamental to all other points. Do I think Sky is worth paying for - yes, but is it worth €29.50 for whatever package comes at that rate, I'm not sure (need you to help me out with the channel list please :)).

    I also struggle to believe that Sky are paying the same sort of money to their presenters, particularly those drawing in similar viewing numbers to the likes of RTE's Late Late Show etc.
     
  12. odyssey06

    odyssey06 Frequent Poster

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    Echoing the point of @michaelm
    Why do we even have a TV licence?
    Why isn't this funded out of general taxation and cut out all the nonsense of the overhead of collection\court time etc?
    If having a national broadcaster is a worthy public aim, I don't see why it should be funded by TV licence fee...

    And one small point... why do RTE need 4 people in the studio to talk about soccer, GAA and rugby games?
    Once upon a time there was 1-2 commentating during the game, and 2-3 back in the studio.
    Now there's 2 commentating, maybe 1 person pitch-side, and 4 back in the studio... who can hardly get a word in edgeways over each other!
    Maybe they're all being paid the going rate (but doubtless more than back in the 80s when there were less of them), so let's cut back on quantity!
     
  13. Leo

    Leo Moderator

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    Well, An Post receive €12.5M to collect it, so the government is likely happy enough with that as it means they can say they're supporting the rural post offices.
     
  14. MrEarl

    MrEarl Frequent Poster

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    Folks,

    It's great to see the majority here in agreement regarding RTE - but can I suggest that you all let your local politicians know about your thoughts ?

    It's only by speaking out, that we will ever start to see any sort of change. Hopefully, we won't need to see the same extreme action needed to bring an end to silly spending at RTE, or to keep control over bin charges, as we saw with the water charge issue... but we do need to stand up for ourselves a lot more, if we ever want to see things change.

    Personally, I've very little confidence in the current Minister with responsibility, he doesn't impress as knowing much about broadcasting or broadband (other than the principal that everyone should have it).... so I'd wager he could easily be influenced by RTE calling for a licence fee increase, particularly if they roll out the RTE orchestra and start playing their violins about having had to sell part of their property, make people redundant etc.

    Some final food for thought.... if we sold RTE2, a few of the radio stations etc. how much could we raise and what could that money be used for (housing, hospitals, schools, delivering broadband to rural Ireland etc.) ?
     
  15. MrEarl

    MrEarl Frequent Poster

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    I'm sure the Government could give An Post lots of other things to do, to help them generate funds, if they so wished.

    A topic for a separate thread, perhaps ? :)
     
  16. Leo

    Leo Moderator

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    I think the lack of efficiency and cost of collection plays into the original case of why at the very least the fee should not be increased.
     
    MrEarl likes this.
  17. MrEarl

    MrEarl Frequent Poster

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    Very good point Leo.
     
  18. Purple

    Purple Frequent Poster

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    When Pat Kenny left RTE radio and moved to Newstalk there was no real drop in listenership for his slot. Is it not reasonable to conclude that a presenter of reasonable skill backed up by the same production team do the same job?
     
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  19. MrEarl

    MrEarl Frequent Poster

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    That's a good point Purple.

    We don't need our state owned public service broadcaster to have high profile and highly paid presenters. Most people will do a good job, once they get decent training and decent support and a fair salary. It's the same with any role - be it in RTE, or the local supermarket.

    By way of an example, there's a lady called Katie Hannon starting to pop up more and more on politics and current affairs, be it on the news or Prime Time etc. I'm sure she is only getting 30% - 40% of what RTE are paying Miriam O'Callaghan and she's every bit as good, if not better than Mirriam. There are more examples in RTE too, if we stop and think about it for a few minutes.

    RTE clearly won't stop this nonsense unless someone actually puts a stop to it. There's too much easy money and good living to be had in Donnybrook, so why would they ? Essentially, it's the responsibility of the Minister for Communications on behalf of the population to mange RTE, so he's the man that we need to put pressure on - to do what exactly, eh his job !

    If you don't want to write to him directly, then write (e-mail, phone or even drop in for a chat) to your local politicans and tell them you've had enough of RTE squandering money that could be far better spent elsewhere, for the benefit of the Irish population. Tell them you want to see RTE resized and made fit for purpose again, as a national public service broadcaster and not a company trying to rival Sky or other commercial broadcasters, with multi tv and radio channels (not to mention a postal address in one of the most expensive parts of the country !).
     
  20. cremeegg

    cremeegg Frequent Poster

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    Most people are not capable of presenting a current affairs program, very few people are capable of doing it well.

    Pat Kenny is superb. Miriam O Callaghan asks people how they are feeling. Sean O Rourke is good, he has as good a grasp as PK but is not as incisive. Marion despite certain annoying mannerisms is the best at the longer format interview.

    They are all better than the UK equivalents. Paxman is a donkey who thinks the audience want to hear him braying. Dimbleby is good at getting others to speak but when he intervenes himself he is usually out of his depth.