Minister Rabbitte announces publication of the RTE Annual Report
Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte announced the publication of the RTE Annual Report, which was laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas today. The Minister noted that the financial results in 2012 largely reflect the considerable restructuring charge incurred by the corporation in providing for RTÉ’s early retirement and voluntary severance facilities.
Minister Rabbitte commended RTÉ on successfully meeting its commitment to complete Analogue Switch-Off on October 24th, 2012. It is testament to the professional efforts of RTÉ that a smooth transition from Analogue Switch-Off to Digital Terrestrial Television took place.
He welcomed the editorial restructuring and other actions taken by RTÉ in 2012 in the wake of the BAI Report on the Prime Time Investigates Programme Mission To Prey and is satisfied with RTÉ’s progress in implementing the recommendations arising from the report and that the recommended new processes and procedures are being embedded in the organisation.
The Minister has made it clear to the organisation that it must achieve a break-even position, at least, in 2013. He considers that RTÉ will continue to operate in a challenging financial environment, particularly in the increasingly fragmented and competitive advertising market. He is concerned by the continuing decline in commercial revenue and his Department is closely monitoring the financial position of RTÉ on an on-going basis.
The Minister said he looked forward to a review to be undertaken by New Era on the scope for further efficiencies to be achieved in RTÉ this year. Finally, the Minister intends to shortly commence a public consultation on the proposed household based broadcasting charge.