Lyric FM star calls on fans to help save station after report RTE is considering axing it

Question marks have been raised over the future of Lyric FM following a report that revealed RTE was considering axing the classical music station.

On Prime Time last night, presenter Richard Downes said: “Prime Time understands that RTE is in discussion with relevant government departments about cutting deeply into areas it is legally obliged to deliver.

“Prime Time understands RTE is considering the future of Lyric FM, the national cultural station based in Limerick. Change there would be controversial. The corporation is also considering the future of wide range of other services which could be cut.”

Following the news Liz Nolan, who presents the Full Score on Lyric FM, tweeted calling for fans of the station to show their support.

Helen Shaw, who oversaw the establishment of the station, was among those to tweet their support.

She said: “As the former head of radio who launched RTE Lyric FM exactly 20 years ago I can tell you it is a tiny tiny budget that runs that station and compared to everything else in RTE it boxes way above its weight in output and ambition.”

Last week RTÉ confirmed they are seeking a funding rise of €55m per year from the Government to plug its financial shortfall and transform itself into a digital organisation.

It said that with no extra funding, regional services, sports and drama were among the services likely to face cuts, while compulsory redundancies would also be required.

RTÉ is currently carrying out a wide-ranging internal review, with a cost-cutting plan to be announced in October. On Friday, director general Dee Forbes wrote to staff, saying: “With commercial revenues and public funding both significantly below what is needed to operate the organisation in its current form, our current financial situation is not like anything we have seen before.

“As a result, it will no longer be possible to continue as we are.”

A spokesperson for RTÉ said: “RTÉ remains committed to meeting the ever-changing needs of Irish audiences and to securing the future of public service media in Irish life.

“We are mindful of RTÉ’s central role in reflecting who we are as a people and a nation and where we are going, a role that is more important now than ever.

“However, with commercial revenues and public funding both significantly below what is needed to operate the organisation in its current form, it is no longer possible to continue as we are.

“It is in this context that we are currently finalising a review of everything we currently do and what we can continue to do in the future and we expect to be in a position to share details in the coming weeks.”

RTÉ sought €55m extra a year in funds from State

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