Cork woman becomes RTÉ's first female director-general

Update 5.25pm: Dee Forbes has been appointed as RTÉ’s new director-general, pending Government approval, the broadcaster has confirmed.

“Following a rigorous recruitment process overseen by its Board, RTÉ has today appointed Dee Forbes as Director-General,” an RTÉ statement read.

“This appointment is subject to the Government’s consent under Section 89 of the Broadcasting Act 2009.

Ms Forbes will assume her new role later this year after a transition period.

Ms Forbes said: “Although it was a tough professional decision to leave Discovery, the personal decision to return to Ireland and lead its biggest broadcaster, RTÉ, is an opportunity of a lifetime."

Moya Doherty, chair of the Board, RTÉ, said: “The appointment of Dee Forbes stands to mark a significant moment in the development of RTÉ.

“Not only is this the first Director-General in almost 50 years to be appointed externally, but she will also be the first female to hold the role.

“RTÉ is at a pivotal moment, one where the future shape and financing of public service broadcasting is being re-imagined.

“I am delighted to have someone with such a breadth of industry experience, such a creative and visionary understanding of the global broadcasting market, and a proven management record.”

Earlier: The search for the next director general of RTÉ may stop with the Rebel County if media reports are to be believed.

Dee Forbes, originally from Drimoleague in west Cork, is currently head of the Discovery Channel in Europe, but reports state she is next to sit on the throne of RTÉ as director general.

It is understood the RTÉ board is meeting today to approve the decision which was reached from an ‘independent competitive process’.

Although the decision is generally made by RTÉ, it does have to be approved by the Government, but this is merely a formality.

Forbes is currently located in London but will be shortly packing her bags to replace Noel Curran, who is due to leave the state broadcaster at the end of the month.

Mr Curran leaves on a proverbial high with stable finances and the last notes of the 1916 celebrations still ringing in people’s ears.

The news of a potential Dee Forbes appointment may come as a surprise to many in RTÉ as the job usually lands a stone throw from the predecessor.

Likely candidates for the position this time round included head of news and deputy director general Kevin Bakhurst and head of television Glen Killan.


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