I have only met Pat Rabbitte, former Labour Party Leader, once. First impressions last as they say. I found him to be rude and powerless, this was at the height of his career as Minister for Communications. I decided to rush down to Cork to go to RTÉ's 50th celebrations at UCC. It was made up of the usual heads and a few of the public. Actually having it in Cork meant that much of the Dublin media were absent, meaning a slightly better conversation about Broadcasting in Ireland.
RTÉ, the BAI and DCENR have refused to give details of proposed changes to RTÉ schedules that never took place. These proposed changes took place (sorry did not take place) in 2013 when RTÉ requested that it move all RTÉjr programming from RTÉ2. In an FoI all three organisation took the decision to refuse the freedom of information request on a lapsed project where no ministerial decision was ever taken, no public consultation was provided and where the project was ultimately scrapped by RTÉ.
RTÉ are celebrating the 2nd Birthday of RTÉjr with the return of some of previous cast members of The Den. Zig and Zag is a new animated series which will broadcast on RTÉ's dedicated channel to the under 6s. The new series comes 30 years after the debut of Dempsey’s Den on Irish screens in 2016.
RTÉ's plan to remove the RTÉjr strand of programming from RTÉ TWO has been knocked back. According to the Minister for Communications the plans, which were submitted to his department in April 2013, have been returned to RTÉ and RTÉ are to re-submit plans for RTÉ TWO and RTÉjr later this year. No decision was made by the Minister in relation to original plans, though it was expected that he would refuse RTÉ's proposal to move such programming off RTÉ TWO's schedules. Under the Broadcasting Act 2009 any changes to a public service broadcasters (RTÉ, TG4 and Oireachtas TV) must be first approved by the Minister for Communications and the minister must consult with various organisations
RTÉ have announce their summer schedule. The usual mix of summer replacement chat with Saturday Night with Miriam and the epic nights of The Rose of Tralee. A new entertainment show with Adian Power will replace the now axed The Big Money Game. Impersonator Oliver Callahan brings his Radio 1 show Callan's Kicks to the TV for the summer. RTÉ Two will announce their World Cup team on Thursday.
RTÉjr started out life as Den Tot's a block on the classic children's TV strand The Den in 1998. This was a major change for the service as Irish children's TV would effectively be on air from 7 in the morning to 6 each evening. RTÉ Two became the main RTÉ children's channel in 1988 with the move of Dempsey's Den to Network 2 from RTÉ 1. In 2010 RTÉ made the decision to re-brand The Den as RTÉjr and TRTÉ. Since 2010 RTÉjr has grown. Initially launched in May 27, 2011 as a 5 day week channel and last year as a stand-alone channel. RTÉ's children's services are hugely underfunded with just €8million available to them.
The Minister for Communication, Energy and Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte, T.D., is expected to block RTÉ's plans to move their RTÉjr strand from RTÉ Two according to The Sunday Times. A report into the planed move was announced in April 2013 when TV3 objected to the move. The BAI submitted this report to the Minister in July 2013, in November 2013 in the Dail Minister Rabbitte said he expected to be able to make a decision shortly, he restated in the Dail that he would be make a decision shortly in Feburary 2014. The Broadcasting Authority Of Ireland stated that they were unaware of the move during the recent Five-year Review of Public funding, however the review took place during 2013 and was published some months after RTÉ's request.