- 24 Apr 18
The Irish Congress of Trade Unions called on RTE this morning to reject a proposal to remove the National Symphony Orchestra from the national broadcaster
Questions of the National Orchestra's future in RTE came to surface earlier in the year with a new State-funded National Orchestra being requested.
A review of RTE's National Symphony Orchestra is recommending that it be outsourced and funded by Government. An independent report says it should be set up as a National Cultural Institution in its own right or as part of the National Concert Hall. The review's objective, requested at the beginning of the year, is to put forward the optimal solution for the effective, efficient and sustainable delivery of high quality orchestral services by RTE. RTE wanted the review to include research and consultation with external and internal stakeholders and European Broadcasting Union peers.
Today, The Irish Congress of Trade has asked RTE to reject this proposal to remove the NSO from the national broadcaster "as it would represent further de facto cuts to services and undermine RTE's capacity to fulfil its public service remit."
Speaking to Hot Press exclusively, an RTE insider said; "There is a genuine issue here, the problem is that people want RTE to be all things to all people- but there is a ridiculous outcry if the licence fee is increased. But it has to be properly resourced."
Congress General Secretary Patricia King responded to the proposal outlined in the Boaden Review confirming the proposal to remove the NSO from RTE makes no sense, from a broadcasting, financial or cultural perspective.
RTE insider continued; "An alternative to the Broaden Report’s recommendations might be for the National Symphony Orchestra to be allocated specific funding, separate from the licence fee, that would cover the costs – and for all accounts relating to the orchestra to be maintained in a fully transparent way, so that any fees, windfalls or profits could then be ploughed back into music. Everyone here in Donnybrook is open-minded about it. But there is a serious cost involved in running and maintaining the orchestra – and that is making it more difficult to invest in programming."