‘RTÉ Guide’ operating costs fall 16% in 2012
Magazine endured “challenging year” in a turbulent print market, broadcaster says
Amid the usual blaze of on-screen talent / future Late Late Show guests, RTÉ Television is holding its press launch for its autumn season in Montrose today.
It will be the first outing for channel controllers George Dixon (RTÉ One) and Bill Malone (RTÉ Two), appointed to those newly created roles by managing director of television Glen Killane in March. But promoting channel schedules isn’t as straightforward as it used to be: the influence of the most reliable outlet for promotion, the RTÉ Guide, is fading.
The circulation of the RTÉ Guide fell 17 per cent in the second half of 2012, when it sold an average of 61,881 copies - this was down from 74,382 in the same period a year earlier. The plunge was partly due to the removal of 4,200 free copies supplied to hotels.
The RTÉ annual report for 2012, published last week, said the RTÉ Guide had “faced another challenging year in a continuing turbulent magazine market”, and also placed its woes in the context of the broader decline in the print industry. The title’s operations were “rationalised further” to reduce its cost base, with printing and related costs dropping almost 16 per cent to €1.66 million last year, the accounts show.
Although the magazine, edited since last May by Catherine Lee, has hired new columnists and is still the best-selling consumer magazine in Ireland by some distance, marketing RTÉ’s channel brands and their programming jewels is likely to be an increasingly digital endeavour under Dixon and Malone.