RTE in Crisis

Cabinet concerned RTÉ will need bailout as advertisers turn off national broadcaster

Minister says patience is running low as new director general Kevin Bakhurst takes up position

Kevin Bakhurst, incoming director general, RTÉ, flanked by Adrian Lynch, interim deputy director general, RTÉ, and Siún Ní Raghallaigh, chair, RTÉ board, speak to the media after a meeting with Catherine Martin, Minister for the Media, Thursday, July 6, 2023. Picture: PA

Higher education minister Simon Harris’ admission last Friday that government patience with RTÉ is running low is at best a mild understatement.

There are mounting concerns at cabinet level that because of the growing crisis a bailout will be required as advertisers flee the national broadcaster.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar voiced this concern last week by saying the government would look to stand behind RTÉ but urged people to continue to pay their TV licence fee.