New RTE News Studio

I got a tour today of the new RTE News Studio. The real one, not the one that doesn’t exist and cost 5 Million euros according the Daily Mail.

With just a few minutes to go before the launch of the studio during the 1pm news, some final tweaks were happening:

It’s really interesting to see how a news show is put together both in terms of the research and the editorial but the technical aspect too. This new studio will be the studio for the RTE 1 and RTE news shows, News2Day (kiddies news), The Week in Politics and more. I hear with this new studio there are talks about doing some new shows too, including perhaps a business show. If that turns out to be true, I’ll certainly tune in. I’d love to see more business coverage.

This new studio is bigger than what was there before and the background in the studio is walled with Barco screens instead of bluescreens. Videos can be placed on all three walls and the newscaster can actually look at the person in the link now instead of a green screen which makes it a little easier to work with. With the Barco screens too it means they can load new templates into the system and change the look entirely. The screens have been in place about a week so it’s early days yet when it comes to the graphics and imagery that RTE will be using. They showed us some mockups of the Leinster House background and a few more too and they look pretty damned smart. Not of this tabloid redtop wooshy crap that you see on Sky News.

It cost around €1.3M which came out of the surplus RTE had last year before the cuts happened. Money is so tight now that even Colm Murray isn’t allowed go to Cheltenham to cover it. Someone sponsor him! The money for this is a capital investment and this studio is going to last a long time. The Barco screens took a big chunk of that. I don’t know what the fuss is from some quarters about their “tax money” being spent. Anyone that’s been to the TV centre in RTE will know it’s falling to bits, probably held up with sellotape. Infrastructure needs to be maintained. At least now the News studio will survive if the rest of the place falls away into dust.

What fascinated me was the studio does not have cameramen or a stage manager. As the photo belows shows, there are three static cameras looking at the presenters. In addition there’s a remote controlled camera that looks a bit like a Dalek. Then you might notice a track up by the lights. There’s a camera on that which is able to swoop in and around the set:


The staff have been planning the new studio for months though they only started the labour on it on Dec 19th. Fast going. A lot of breathing outs and smiles today after the 1pm broadcast went without a hitch.

Here’s a pic of John Finnerty at the desk:
RTE News Studio

19 Responses to “New RTE News Studio”

  1. Anthony McG says:

    I do like it. Was wondering how they did the screens alright. It must have been weird for the presenters getting used to having no cameramen there.

  2. Daragh says:

    I like it too. The old newsroom was too small in my opinion. This one looks a lot better, the space looks great. The new graphics are a big improvement too.

  3. colm says:

    They will have to be careful on the backdrop they pick. The city scape background last night was AWFUL. It was totally out of scale with and the end result was it felt as though it was coming out of the screen. 5 minutes watching it gave me a headache. Had they zoomed out a bit it would work better.

  4. Scott says:

    You can see the joins in the screens already. Its a pretty straight rip off of BBC News set. A little less Sky News bashing might be in order since they are Man Utd to RTEs Scunthorpe where news design and innovation is concerned

  5. Rick says:

    It’s like that in a lot of RTE studios, Anthony. I’ve done a few bits on kids TV over there and the cameras are always automated like that.

  6. Anthony McG says:

    @Rick: Oh right. I keep forgetting the last time I was on anything was circa 10 years ago. :-/

  7. Bert says:

    The newsroom hasn’t been without camera operators for years. The previous newsroom had unmanned cameras too.

  8. Sounds just like tV3 where the cameras are all automated too – even on the breakfast show.

  9. Joe Scanlon says:

    Cool to get some insight

  10. Aaron says:

    Pretty sweet set. Reminds me of the ITV news though!

  11. This is a tremendous amount to spend on a set. Of course it is little enough in comparison to the total cost of keeping a TV/radio news organization on the road.

    When this level of spending is required to turn out a decent product, do we have to be realistic about how many news organizations we have in Ireland? At the moment, we have one big one, and a bunch of fairly small ones. Attempts to put together some of the small ones have been rebuffed by BCI. I wonder is this a good idea. The reality is that you need a lot of scale to do news well.

  12. Teknovis says:

    Cool insight and photos! Thanks!

    I would also love to see more business coverage on the news. At the moment it always seems like an afterthought to fill the space between the sports and the weather.

    I think business news should get as much attention as the sports. RTE should have a separate business presenter (George Lee?), and include it in the same slot ever day. I image that RTE already has all the content from the radio programs and the web site.

  13. Seo Catháin says:

    Dito as .teknovis…I was thinking the same think and have emailed RTÉ already that p.I would go one step further, have a small studio in Anglesea Street at the ISEQ, and let George interview a stock broker, given some analysis also of the Dow and FTSE and DAX a 7 minute segment. Sky have their man do it. Why not us? Its a differentiator over British News. I think its called for. I mean he does good series but I think he also should have a daily 6 one slot, why curtail talent like that! I think if RTÉ don’t do it, with DTT, Sky News Ireland will be back again, but from the London Studio and a guy in Anglesea doing business news. Indeed if Sky are clever they’ll make that news not an opt-in but UK wide & pick up Irish emigrees over there. Irish DTT should change things for Sky, it can’t but help them & I expect to see them either on RTÉ’s mux or pay Boxer a premium to be free-to-air.

  14. Neil says:

    Can anyone explain to me the reason RTE does so many oustside broadcasts while doing the Six One News. What’s the point in sending a neswsreader out to Brussels to interview Brian Cowen when it can just as easely be done through a link up or by one of the two correspondents that are working for RTE and based in Europe. Why send a news reader out to Dublin Airport to interview the SR workers. I could go on and on. I feel it’s just a junket for the CHOSEN ONE’S in RTE.

  15. Seo says:

    I don’t work for them so I can only guess. You make a good argument Neil. I can’t argue with it. But it is a tradition on a major news story that one of the newsreaders cover it to highlight its importance. Sky and the BBC also do this. But you could argue that in is wasteful spend. Regarding my previous post, I understand why Sports news has a slot though i’m not into Sport, its because of its popularity among the public. I feel RTÉ News is lacking in not having a business slot. I hope it doesn’t continue to lack that.

  16. Daragh says:

    Outside broadcasts aren’t done very often, but when they are they makes for more interesting viewing, and like Seo says above, the same is also done by BBC and Sky (Channel 4 also do it). If RTE didn’t keep up with trends, they’d be slated for that too. If saving money was to be RTE’s primary concern, then where would you draw the line? Should they return to the days of the newsreader speaking to resporters on the phone? Why bother spending any money on anything visual at all?

  17. owen travers says:

    its not nice any more and can you put this peace of news on the rte news this is it a 9 year old boy was walking to school today he looked across the road when he got hit by a car at 9.20 he was rushed to hospital and he broke his ribs

  18. owen travers says:

    a 9 year old boy who was walking to shool today he was hit by a car at 9.20 jeffery broke his ribs and he was rushed to hospital we dont know anything about him it happened in lucan village dublin its not nice any more the rte news change it please

  19. […] misrepresented and not respected. RTÉ did well many moons ago inviting us to the launch of their new News Studio but they need to go much further now. I know a lot of people that work in the media and the hours […]