Drury likely chairman of RTE

 

Former public relations executive and journalist Fintan Drury is expected to be named this week as the chairman of the RTÉ Authority. Other members of the authority are also expected to be announced this week.

The appointments will be announced by the Minister for Communications, Noel Dempsey. The last authority completed its term of office several weeks ago and the State-owned broadcaster has been waiting for replacements since then. In the meantime the station has been run by the executive board headed by director general Cathal Goan.

Mr Drury is on the board of two quoted companies, Anglo Irish Bank and Paddy Power plc. He is also a director of several private companies.

A former RTÉ journalist, Mr Drury founded his own public relations and communications consultancy, Drury Communications, back in 1988. He retired from this business a few years ago.

He is now chairman of Drury Sports Management which has a strong presence in the sports events and sponsorship business in Ireland. It has acted as consultant to various high profile golf tournaments.

It is also licenced by FIFA and represents more than 40 footballers in Britain as well as the full Irish management team.

The RTÉ Authority is effectively the board of the station and makes major strategic and planning decisions. The arrival of Mr Drury comes at an interesting time with the broadcaster producing strong surpluses for the first time in a decade. However it has been losing ground in the radio sector and is currently trying to protect its position from the impact of digital television.

The authority is a nine-member committee made up of Government appointees.

The last chairman was Paddy Wright, former president and chief operations officer of the Jefferson Smurfit Group. RTÉ's executive board reports to the authority via the director general Cathal Goan.