RTÉ board approves plan for ‘new direction’ of broadcaster

Kevin Bakhurst aims to share ‘strategic vision’ document with staff next week

The board of RTÉ has approved a plan setting out a new “strategic vision” for the broadcaster, which has been rocked by major controversy this year.

In a message to staff, Kevin Bakhurst, RTÉ director general, said the plan detailing “a new direction” for RTÉ had been approved and would be shared with staff early next week.

The broadcaster has been firefighting a significant controversy since June following revelations RTÉ had paid former Late Late Show host Ryan Tubridy €225,000 more than it had publicly declared.

The scandal, which deepened following further revelations of excessive spending at the broadcaster through a barter account, has seen several key executives leave RTÉ.


It has also left a large hole in the organisation’s finances due to a fall in licence fee income. RTÉ has said it will be insolvent if it does not receive a bailout of tens of millions of euro from the State by next spring.

In a message to staff on Wednesday, Mr Bakhurst said he expected to be able to share details of senior management’s plan for the broadcaster by early next week.

“This strategic vision is the first step in engaging with our many stakeholders – Government, you, the media, the public, our audience, independent producers, regulators, service providers, and others – on the future of RTÉ,” he wrote.

Mr Bakhurst, who took over as director general after the controversy erupted earlier this year, said feedback from staff and others “will inform the development of RTÉ's Statement of Strategy for 2024 – 2028, which is due in the new year”.

The director general told staff he looked forward “to sharing our strategic vision with you next week”.

In a statement posted on its website, RTÉ confirmed a document setting out “a new direction” for the organisation had been approved by its board.

“Kevin Bakhurst wrote to RTÉ staff this morning to confirm that he expects to be in a position to share details with them early next week, before wider publication,” it said.

Jack Power

Jack Power

Jack Power is acting Europe Correspondent of The Irish Times