RTE defer longwave radio shutdown


RTE are to differ its switch-off of their longwave radio service and will appoint a London correspondent; it was announced in the Dail today.

The longwave service will continue to transmit until January 19, having previously been given an axe date of October 22, following an overwhelming negative response from people living in the UK.

The Irish government called the broadcaster into the Dail to account for itself, following public pressure put on TDs and Senators following the initial decision over the past month.

The Oireachtas Joint Committee on Transport and Communications has this afternoon expressed support for the retention of RTÉ’s long wave service at Clarkstown, recognising the valuable connection it provides for Irish people living in the UK. RTÉ radio Managing Director Jim Jennings was addressing the Committee on the rationale for the closure.

IW_1810_MAIN_FSE1_001RTE explained that the Clarkstown longwave mast in Co. Meath costs €250,000 a year, but if they can find the money elsewhere they will keep the broadcast going.

In this week’s edition of the Irish World, we revealed that Jim Jennings, Head of RTE Radio, had been called before the All Party Oireachtas Committee as part of an intervention to the proposed closure of the longwave transmission.

They also announced that they will be introducing a new London correspondent, two years after their office in the capital was closed down two years ago.

The London bureau, which was closed as part of a €25 million cost cutting agenda, employed five members of staff before it was shut down in September 2012.

RTE said that the new appointment was possible due to significant savings over the past couple of years, however the state visit of Michael D. Higgins to the UK earlier in the year was reported to have cost in excess of £200,000.

The new position will be advertised internally at RTE and the role will begin in January 2015.



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