By Ananda Patrasco
On the 14 November Catherine Martin TD, the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Art, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media informed cabinet colleagues on the funding plans for RTÉ.
She updated Government colleagues that after engaging with the appropriate senior cabinet colleagues, including Party Leaders, over the last couple of days a decision has been reached regarding additional funding for RTÉ.
Minister Martin said: “RTÉ’s new Strategic Vision demonstrates a renewed commitment to public service broadcasting, and addresses key areas such as governance reforms and cost efficiencies. This is vital as RTÉ seeks to rebuild the trust and confidence of the Irish public. I am acutely aware, however, of how difficult and challenging this is for the organisation, and particularly for its staff. That is why the DG’s consultation with staff is of paramount importance.”
The initial funding recommended by the Future of Media Commission of €16 million that was confirmed by NewERA, will be provided by way of supplementary estimate in the weeks coming. The further €40 million of funding, recommended by NewERA, will be given to RTÉ in the 2024 Revised Estimates in December.
How will the funding be provided?
A structure will be put in place in order to give assurance on the progress in reforms related to the release of the €40 million funding, with a distinct focus on the recommendations of the two Expert Advisory Committees set up in July by the Government. This will be led by the Department of Media and will include NewERA.
A portion of the €40 million will be given in Q1of 2024 after the Expert Advisory Committees reports are published and a further instalment will be provided in the second half of the year on condition of satisfactory progress is being made by RTÉ on reform and governance.
The Minister added: “This decision on funding is necessary to ensure in the short term the continued operations of RTÉ. However, a long-term reform of the public funding model is critical to ensure the national broadcaster is on a sustainable footing, and to ensure good quality public service broadcasting into the future.”