Dipping into highs and lows over the last twelve months

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

Understandably, when historians look back on the year 2023 in a century’s time, the bookmarks will be the continuing conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza; even the fall-out from RTÉ’s relaxed attitude to bonuses and budgeting will have faded into the ether by then.

But while the past twelve months may have been overshadowed by the indefensible killing of Ukrainians, Israelis and tens of thousands of Palestinians, there was plenty going on closer to home.

RTÉ and Tubs for a start, but also Barbenheimer, the Beatles, Biden in Ballina, the men’s Rugby World Cup, the women’s football World Cup, storms, scams, and the continuing march of Artificial Intelligence on its way to taking over the world.

Ryan Tubridy was the backdrop to much of the year from a media point of view; his decision to step away from the Late Late Show hotseat was superseded by news of his Renault payments – and that precipitated a furore that rocked the state broadcaster to the core.

The optics were awful from the start, but the truth is Ryan did little wrong; his agent did a deal which copper-fastened his income, but RTÉ decided to be economical with its disclosures and the whole thing pulled the rug out from under all of Montrose.

The truth is that, if a private company managed its financial affairs in the unorthodox manner that RTÉ has been for years, they’d have gone belly-up an age ago.

The positive to come out of the debacle is that the new regime now has a handle on all of this – but the negative is that it’s a long road back to restoring public confidence and balancing the books.

And to get there, many staff, who had nothing whatsoever to do with any financial scandal and whose salaries wouldn’t have amounted to a hill of beans in the first place, will pay for this repositioning with their jobs and careers.


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