Maura Derrane, Sinead Kennedy and Dáithí Ó Sé presenters of ‘The Today Show’, which is broadcast from the RTE Cork studios. Photo: Ger McCarthy

RTÉ confirms Today Show to continue in Cork

RTÉ have confirmed that 'The Today Show' will continue to be broadcast from Cork this autumn. The flagship programme which is hosted by Maura Derrane, Dáithí Ó Sé and Sinead Kennedy has been broadcast from Cork since it first aired in November 2012.

However there had been fears this week that the popular daytime show would no longer be filmed in the southern headquarters as rumours circulated that the RTÉ Cork offices may be sold, placing jobs in jeopardy.

A spokesperson for RTÉ told the Cork Independent that that 'The Today Show', which is a big ratings winner for the station “will return in the autumn” and would continue to be produced in the city. The spokesperson also said that the national broadcaster remains fully committed to its operation here and also confirmed that the production of 'Nationwide', presented by Anne Cassin and Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh, will remain in Cork.

There are currently 35 people employed in RTÉ Cork, which is located on Father Matthew St, however this does not include the staff of 'The Today Show' which is not currently on air. The regional office has a reputation for producing quality programming including John Creedon's weekday evening show on RTE Radio 1 and Rising Time with Lilian Smith which airs at weekends.

Meanwhile the ongoing RTÉ payments scandal continues with further developments and revelations this week. Representatives from RTÉ board, including the former chair Moya Doherty and former chief financial officer Breda O’Keeffe faced a grilling when they appeared before the Oireachtas Media Committee again yesterday.

RTÉ chair Siún Ní Raghallaigh expressed that the board's trust and confidence in the station's executive has been eroded, saying: “I am deeply unhappy at the evident pattern of inconsistency and lack of completeness in the provision of information to date by the executive”. She also said “there is a high probability that more information will emerge in the days and weeks ahead”.

Breda O'Keeffe, former CFO of RTÉ, informed the committee that Richard Collins, her successor, was in his role two months earlier than he previously stated. She revealed that she kept Collins informed about the progress of Ryan Tubridy's contract negotiations during that time. She also said all top talent contract negotiations involved the Director General, the CFO, Head of Content and the RTE internal solicitor "at all stages of the negotiations".

On Tuesday night, the broadcaster acknowledged the presence of three barter accounts, contradicting the earlier statement made by Richard Collins. During last week's testimony to the Public Accounts Committee, Collins had claimed that there was only one barter account. The revelations sparked disbelief and outrage amongst politicians with Fianna Fail TD for Cork South West Christopher O’Sullivan saying: “Who on the executive board knew? If efforts were made to conceal these (barter accounts) by existing members then their positions are no longer tenable.”

Some of the uses of barter accounts included €4,956.73 on 200 pairs of Havaianas flip-flops for an agencies and clients summer party in 2016 and €2,300 for membership of Soho House in London - a high-end, members-only accommodation and meeting space. RTÉ also revealed that 'Toy Show the Musical' made losses of €2.2 million.

Yesterday, presenter Ryan Tubridy and his agent Noel Kelly offered to appear before both the Oireachtas Media Committee and the Public Accounts Committee next week.

Solicitors for the pair have written to the committees saying that they “believe that they have important information” to share.

“They would welcome this opportunity to set out their position on these matters and then submit themselves to appropriate questioning from the members of the Committee on what are clearly matters of public interest,” said a spokesperson from Hayes Solicitors.