RTÉ's director-general received package worth almost €340,000 last year

This included a car allowance for Dee Forbes worth €25,000

RTÉ's director-general received package worth almost €340,000 last year

Director-general of RTÉ Dee Forbes is seen at RTÉ radio studios in Donnybrook | Image: RollingNews.ie

The Director-General of RTÉ Dee Forbes was paid a salary of €275,000 in 2017, according to the State broadcaster's annual report.

This figure included a basic salary of €250,000 and a €25,000 car allowance.

When a pension contribution of €63,000 is included, her total package was worth €338,000.

While former newsreader Aengus Mac Grianna, who retired from that role in March, is also on the board - receiving €16,000 a year.

RTÉ says licence fee revenue rose to €186m last year from €179m in 2016.

The report also shows of €216m total licence fee collected in 2017, €186m (86%) was received directly by RTÉ.

The remainder was used to pay An Post collection costs and related charges, to provide funding for the BAI Sound and Vision Fund and to part-fund TG4.

It says the increase was primarily due to the €6m increase in public funding announced in Budget 2017, which was a part reversal of the public funding cuts made since 2010.

Licence fee levels

It also suggests licence fee evasion levels as - calculated by the DCCAE - are 15% (2016) of chargeable domestic households and businesses.

"A growing concern is the increase in the number of homes that do not have a traditional television set", the report says.

"This has been growing steadily over recent years, as per the Nielsen Establishment Survey, and is now at 9.1% (January 2018).

"As media consumption patterns become more complex and continue to evolve, the television licence fee mechanism reflects less and less how people consume public-service content.

"It is for this reason that the mechanism is being changed in other countries to a media charge or other methods, rather than being device dependant."

Costs and staff

The broadcaster's total operating costs in 2017 were €334.5m, 2.5% lower compared with 2016.

At December 31st 2017, there were 1,924 employees - of which 317 were part-time or casual.

This compares with 1,984 employees and 278 part-time workers in 2016.

Part of that breakdown sees 544 people working in television operations, 343 in radio, 349 in news and current affairs and 242 in its orchestras.

The full-time equivalent headcount in December 2017 was 1,746, a 5% reduction year-on-year.

This was due to 84 staff leaving during the first round of departures, arising from a voluntary exit programme in 2017 as part of overall restructuring.