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RTÉ suspend tender for Fair City photography amid recruitment freeze

RTÉ have suspended the current public tender process for Fair City photography amid a recruitment freeze.

Earlier this week, the state broadcaster invited submissions from “suitably qualified photographers to provide official stills photography for the popular RTÉ drama”.

In a statement, RTÉ said the photographer would be paid a maximum of €60,000 per annum, or €240,000 over four years, to take a minimum of 16 approved photograph stills a week.

The tender came shortly after Director-General of RTÉ Kevin Bakhurst announced an “immediate recruitment freeze” at the broadcaster, adding that he was stopping all discretionary spending “to preserve cash whilst we get clarity on our financial position going forward”.

In a statement shared on Sunday, RTÉ said they have “decided to suspend the current public tender process for Fair City photography”.

“While high quality professional photography enables RTÉ to promote the drama series, following last week’s announcements of a recruitment freeze and stopping all discretionary spend, RTÉ will pause the tender process and take time to review the volume of photography required and length of contract, among other considerations.”

“A revised tender document will issue once these decisions have been made,” the statement added.

Mr Bakhurst said: “Given the steep fall in the licence fee and the uncertainty over interim funding, and following last week’s announcements, we have decided to halt the current tender process for Fair City photography.”

“While quality professional photography is essential to enable us to promote our programmes and engage audiences, it is not possible for RTE to commit to a four-year contract or to this level of spend given the challenges we now face.”

“So, we have decided to take time to consider the best way to balance the needs of the series with the need to reduce costs where we can. We will continue to explore how we can cut costs and maximise funding of our public services through commercial revenue, while also working hard to restore trust in RTÉ.”

It comes after Mr Bakhurst and other RTÉ bosses appeared before the Oireachtas Media Committee earlier this week to discuss the broadcaster’s expenditure of public funds and governance issues, amid the payments scandal.


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