Larry Bass resigns from RTÉ board after just eight weeks

His resignation comes in wake of comments made to media last weekend that his appointment had ‘upset a number of people’

Larry Bass, who has resigned from the board of RTÉ after just eight weeks in the role. Photograph:  ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Larry Bass, who has resigned from the board of RTÉ after just eight weeks in the role. Photograph: ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

 

Larry Bass, the producer of Dancing with the Stars, has resigned from the board of RTÉ just eight weeks after joining.

Mr Bass was appointed to the board along with three other new members in the middle of July, but made comments to the Sunday Times last weekend indicating he was considering his position following his first board meeting.

Mr Bass, who is CEO of production company ShinAwiL, had told The Sunday Times he felt his appointment had “upset a number of people”.

He told the newspaper he had been made to feel not welcome, but RTÉ said board meetings were carried out in a respectful manner.

In a statement, RTÉ said chair Moya Doherty had been notified of his decision to step down from the board and that it had been sent to Minister for Culture Catherine Martin. “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Larry for his commitment, and for his ongoing significant contribution to the creative industries in Ireland and to the independent production sector in particular.”

In a statement confirming his resignation, Mr Bass said he had done so on Friday after it emerged following the first board meeting there was a degree of discomfort by a number of members of the board with having an independent producer who is also a supplier to RTÉ.

“In the interests of my business and that of RTÉ I decided to resign. I have tendered my resignation to the Minister.”

The Department did not respond to a request for comment on Monday evening, but in a statement given to the Sunday Times, said the process by which nominees come forward was a “matter for the joint Oireachtas committee itself. The minister engaged with the committee and the [RTÉ] chair on the board appointments and made her decision following these engagements. Consultation and engagement is an important part of all such processes.”

Appointments to the RTÉ board are made following a process which involves the Oireachtas committee on Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht interviewing each candidate. The Sunday Times reported that RTÉ had raised the process with the Government in February, meeting minister for arts Catherine Martin. The broadcaster also lobbied political figures to discuss potential competencies and skillsets needed for its board members.