RTÉ set to appoint MIT researcher Jonathan Ruane to its board

Academic to take position vacated by Larry Bass, who stepped down amid backlash

RTÉ is set to appoint Jonathan Ruane, a prominent researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), to its board, taking up the seat vacated by Shinawil director Larry Bass.

Mr Ruane’s appointment is set to be approved by Cabinet today, The Irish Times understands.

He is a lecturer in global economics and management at the Sloan School of Management and a research scientist at the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy.

He will take up the position vacated by Shinawil boss Larry Bass, who stepped down amid a backlash over his appointment by members of the board last year.

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Sligo man Mr Ruane, it is understood, was top of a shortlist of three names recommended by the Oireachtas Committee on Media to Minister for Media Catherine Martin after she sought their input for a replacement.

Mr Bass attended only one meeting of the board before stepping down.

He said at the time it was to protect his business, which produces the Dancing with the Stars programme, after the renewal of the RTÉ contract was questioned by fellow board members.

In his resignation letter to Ms Martin, he said he had absented himself from discussions about the programme at board level but nonetheless was later told of serious concern among some members.

Mr Ruane is also an adjunct professor at Trinity College Dublin, and according to his profile on professional networking site LinkedIn, was chief executive of software-as-a-service (SAAS) company Eventovate, which he co-founded and sold in 2016. He is interested in ultra-distance running and mountaineering, according to his profile.

Jack Horgan-Jones

Jack Horgan-Jones

Jack Horgan-Jones is a political reporter with The Irish Times