Bakhurst Announces Immediate RTÉ Recruitment Freeze

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Kevin Bakhurst has announced a major recruitment freeze at RTÉ with immediate effect.

The broadcaster’s director has also added that all discretionary spending will also be stopped.

This comes as the board for RTÉ are due to face further questions regarding financial controls before the Oireachtas Committee this afternoon.

Last week, it emerged that the national broadcaster were set to face a €21m loss in licence fee revenues amid a drop in sales, in light of revelations of underhand payments to former presenter Ryan Tubridy.

It was also confirmed that Tubridy would not be returning to RTÉ, after talks with Mr Bakhurst broke down.

“regrets”

Bakhurst confirmed the news regarding the recruitment freeze in an email, which was sent to staff.

In the message, Bakhurst said that he “regrets” the impact this freeze will have on RTÉ’s coverage, as well as its plans to invest in equipment and digital.

Bakhurst wrote that “given the steep fall in the licence fee and the uncertainty over interim funding, it is the only responsible thing that we can do”.

At the committee meeting to TDs and senators, Siún Ní Raghallaigh the chair of RTÉ Board, will say that the national broadcaster are facing huge pressure on several fronts.

She will also state that Kevin Bakhurst and his interim leadership team are to also complete a strategic review of RTÉ.

She also expects this review to “then shape what will be a costed restructuring plan”.