In a recent announcement, RTÉ has revealed plans to implement significant cuts to planned expenditure and content for 2024 as part of a strategy to address financial challenges.
The decision comes in response to a decline in TV license sales and the pressing need to navigate immediate financial hurdles.
RTÉ's cost-cutting measures, aiming to reduce planned expenditures by at least €10 million, involve a reshaping of on-air content and production schedules.
One notable change is the reduction of weekly episodes for the beloved soap opera Fair City, dropping from four to three episodes starting January 4th.
This modification includes a production hiatus in July and August, during which only three episodes will be aired each week.
The announcement has sparked a wave of dissatisfaction among viewers, with comments flooding social media.
One person expressed their discontent, labelling the decision as "disgraceful" and expressing disappointment over the reduction of Fair City episodes.
Another critic suggested alternative shows for cuts, stating: "There are plenty of repeat shows ye could take off never mind Fair City."
Others echoed their sentiment, emphasising the value of Fair City and calling for the preservation of Irish-produced shows adding: "I feel Fair City should not have been cut it’s a great program" and another person commented: "what next? leave our irish produced shows alone?"
Beyond Fair City, RTÉ's in-house programming will undergo alterations, with the suspension of Sunday evening summer factual shows in 2024 and the absence of an in-house Saturday evening entertainment show in the spring of the same year.
The highly anticipated third season of The Money List will be deferred until 2025, while the second season, produced in 2023, is scheduled for airing in 2024. Additionally, the transmission of Young Offenders is postponed until 2025.
In line with budgetary targets, RTÉ plans to reduce the budget for acquired programs in 2024, implementing additional savings through prudent production strategies in News and Current Affairs, as well as Sport.
As the public reacts strongly to these changes, RTÉ faces a challenging period of navigating financial constraints while attempting to maintain audience satisfaction.
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