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RTÉ governance, culture reports to be published soon

The Minister for Finance has said that he expects Government-commissioned reports into governance and culture at RTÉ to be published in the coming weeks.

Michael McGrath said that a decision on a future funding model for the broadcaster would likely not be made until those reports are completed.

He told reporters that it “makes sense” to await the outcome of the reports so that the Government has a “full picture” of the problems at RTÉ and the reforms that are required.

Mr McGrath said the Government has already provided €56 million of interim exchequer funding to the broadcaster to stabilise its finances.

He also expressed hope that the reports would be published in full once completed.

Mr McGrath’s comments were echoed by Minister of State Ossian Smyth who said that a decision would have to be made about the future funding of public service broadcasting.

“All these reports are feeding into the culture and governance report which will come out at the end of this month and I think that’s going to make its recommendations around what should happen with what changes should happen to rebuild trust in RTÉ,” the minister told RTÉ’s Today with Colm Ó Mongáin.

“At that point the Government will make a decision about how the future funding model is going to work for RTÉ.

“So we have to make a decision about how public service broadcasting is paid for – should it continue in some version of the licence fee, or should it be a universal charge.”

Asked whether he had a preference between exchequer funding or maintaining the licence fee, Mr Smyth said that he would not “prejudge what comes out of the report at the end of the month”.

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