David McRedmond accentuates the positive at TV3

Chief executive meeting UTV challenge head on

David McRedmond, chief executive of TV3, is the Duracell bunny of Irish media management.

Faced with a tough advertising market, a fresh competitor, UTV, parking its tanks in the carpark of Ballymount, and the loss of some of its most popular content from ITV, McRedmond’s endless energy and enthusiasm in adversity remain undimmed.

Enda Kenny, the 2011 dynamo who now looks a beaten docket, should recharge his batteries over pints with McRedmond. They're cut from the same cloth.

TV3 announced its 2013 financial performance this week. Sales slipped 2 per cent to €55.9 million, but the market slipped 5 per cent, so that’s decent. An exceptional gain of €8.9 million on a debt buyback nudged TV3 from red to black, with a net profit of €7.4 million.


Accumulated losses stand at €235 million, however.

McRedmond said “low single digit growth” has crept back into the market: “An old sage once said is the arrow up or is the arrow down. The arrow is up.”

He said Christmas advertising is “looking strong”, with retailers coming out to play once more as consumers emerge from their bunkers.

To meet the UTV challenge head on, it is investing heavily in homegrown content. McRedmond insists it will pay off: "Red Rock [TV3's new soap] has taken over the John Player factory on the South Circular Road for filming. It's a massive undertaking."

When he looks out his window at Ballymount, he sees “building after building we could eventually convert into studios”. Just keep an eye on those tanks.