Big broadcasters next under threat

If you think the newspaper industry is in a bad place, take a look at leading broadcasters. RTE could go bust in the autumn claims the Independent ( itself struggling to survive.)

Director-general Cathal Goan has cautioned that up to 300 jobs are now under threat. The cash-strapped station is facing a “worst case scenario” of a budget loss of up to £87 million (€100m) — far more than the current estimate of £59 million (€68m)

. The Irish Times takes a slightly less apocalyptical tone but the message is much the same. It seems that the reports are more than alarmist to soften up the unions for a deal. ITN too is in dire straits, most immediately over a pensions black hole. The extremely odd plan to save ITV regional news by sharing facilities with the BBC has run into the sand .

One of the lurking issues is the inseparability of regional and national news. It is a false frontier. Under this deal, BBC picture-gathering can in no way be used to support ITN’s national news services. So how do you separate the two?

Why have they just noticed this now? Even the BBC is cutting back by £400 million.


RTE Potential audience 4,100,000

In 2007 RTE Director General Cathal Goan earned £385,000 (€441,000), more than US President Barack Obama. In the same year Mr Goan’s basic salary was £247,030 (€283,000), his performance-related bonus was £94,000 (€108,000), his pension supplement was £20,076 (€23,000) and his other benefits amounted to £23,568 (€27,000). His salary was up from £314,244 (€360,000) on the previous year.

In the same year, managing directors in RTE earned between £130,000 (€150,000) and £174,000 (€200,000). They also received a bonus of £17,458 (€20,000), a ‘performance-related uplift’ of £4,500 (€5,200) and another £26,187 (€30,000) for simply being a member of the executive board.

RTE presenters asked to take a pay cut last October.

…presenters such as Ryan Tubridy (€346,000 a year); Gerry Ryan (€558,000); Marian Finucane (€455,000); Joe Duffy (€367,000); Derek Mooney (€242,000) or Miriam O’Callaghan (€221,000), will be asked to take pay cuts.

BBC Potential audience 61,000,000
BBC Director-general Mark Thompson – who earns £817,000 with benefits – and his fellow executive directors, broad swathes of managers also enjoy high salaries. Alan Yentob, the BBC’s creative director, is believed to be one of two executives who earn between £310,000 and £339,900 a year. Jay Hunt, the controller of BBC1, is one of five executives who enjoy a basic salary of £310,000 plus bonus and pension.
Lesley Douglas, the Radio 2 controller who resigned in the wake of the Jonathan Ross scandal, was earning £280,000 – the salary now understood to be enjoyed by Janice Hadlow, controller of BBC2.

BBC Stars face sizeable pay cuts, says BBC 1 Controller Jay Hunt

We are asking a lot of key talent to take sizeable cuts in their pay and in the main they’ve been quite receptive to that,” she says. “If we have to lose people because they are not prepared to engage with us because of the efficiency agenda then we will lose them.

Tough talkin’ Jay!

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London

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