Collins is likely to be new head of RTE


THE Cabinet is expected to approve today the appointment of Mr Bob Collins as director general of RATE. It is understood that the RTE Authority chose Mr Collins, following the recommendation of an interview panel made up of members of the authority, including the chairman, Prof Farrel Corcoran.

Mr Collins, who is currently the assistant director general, was chosen from a shortlist of four. His appointment will hardly come as a major surprise within RTE. He had been tipped for some months.

The others on the final shortlist, were the head of presentation and television service, Mr Eugene Murray, the head of television programmes, Mr Liam Miller, and the director of news, Mr Joe Mulholland.

Mr Collins's name will go forward to today's Cabinet meeting for approval.

Mr Collins (49), was appointed assistant director general in March 1995. He was previously assistant controller of programmes, television, deputy controller RTE 1 and Network 2, and director television programmes. He was also secretary to the RTE Authority.

Mr Collins is a native of Limerick. He is a brother of Mr Dan Collins, the chief executive of the national commercial radio station, Radio Ireland, which is due con air in March.

Before joining RTE, Mr Collins worked for the Confederation of Irish Industry, Rehab and Trinity College Dublin.

He will take up the £60,000-a-year post in April when the present holder, Mr Joe Barry, retires.

He will be taking over the top job at a time of deepening financial crisis at RTE, which expects to face massive competition from a whole range of new digital services.

It is also expected that the Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht, Mr Higgins, will publish new broadcasting legislation, this year.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Programme Editor, RTE Television News, Mr Conor Kavanagh, has been appointed head of news at Radio Ireland.

He will head a team of 2 journalists. He is a former journalist with the BBC in Southampton, England. He also worked for Downtown Radio in Belfast for seven years.