THE head of RTÉ Cork has said that the Leeside studio is central to the State broadcaster’s mission and is “cost-effective” to run, amid reports it could be sold.
It emerged over the weekend that RTÉ is considering the possible sale of the Cork studio to help resolve financial problems after the broadcaster’s director general, Dee Forbes, described its position as “unlike anything it has seen before”.
The RTÉ national office has refused to rule out closing its Cork headquarters, saying it is operating with commercial revenues and public funding “both significantly below” what is needed.
“It is no longer possible to continue as we are,” said a spokesperson.
“It is in this context that we are currently finalising a review of everything we currently do and what we can continue to do in the future and we expect to be in a position to share details in the coming weeks.”
Speaking to The Echo, Colm Crowley, Head of RTÉ Cork, said:
“RTÉ in Cork is one of the most ambitious and cost-effective producers of programmes in RTÉ.
“By way of example, we produce over 300 hours of afternoon television every year nationwide.
“Every week we produce high-end, ambitious shows, like John Creedon, for the television and radio,” he added.
“As a core production base, we are central to RTÉ’s mission and we are very proud of that.
“From an operational point of view, those facts speak for themselves.”
It has been suggested that the building may be sold and leased back to RTÉ or an alternative Cork location may be sourced if the building is sold.
A number of politicians have called on the state broadcaster to focus on “mega-salaries” when undertaking the cost-saving review.
“If RTÉ want to make savings they should cut the mega-salaries of their top presenters rather than sell off their Cork studios,” said Cork TD Mick Barry (Solidarity).