Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Heads should roll over priest libel - TV3 chief

A SENIOR manager at TV3 has said that management at RTE should resign in the wake of the Fr Kevin Reynolds libel to prevent more damage to the national broadcaster.

TV3's Director of Programming Ben Frow described as "unforgivable"the airing by RTE of the 'Prime Time Investigates' programme that made false claims about the priest.

Mr Frow said the damages paid out by RTE to Fr Reynolds would have shut down TV3.

"We don't have that kind of money to be handing out in damages. It would have closed TV3. I think it is a major f***-up by RTE," he said.

"If it was in TV3 and someone in my department did something that had a detrimental effect on TV3 , I would feel it is my responsibility to resign," he said.

"I get paid the big bucks and ultimately I have to take the rap. You don't jump on a junior, a middle man. I would have to put my head on the block. It would give my superiors the opportunity to kill the story. My responsibility is not about saving my skin, but about doing what's best for TV3."


The UK-born TV executive said it was the lack of resignations at a senior level in RTE over the Fr Kevin Reynolds case that was continuing to fuel the story.

He made his comments at the unveiling of 'Titanic', a new four-part series which airs on Sunday nights on TV3.

However, RTE presenter Grainne Seoige has defended the station, saying she believes things will "come right" for the national broadcaster.

"It's a great channel. They have been at the forefront of Irish broadcasting. But there are always going to be tough times. Every industry goes through tough times, but I'm sure and know they (RTE) are very professional people, and it will come right for them."

In relation to comments made by Miriam O'Callaghan about "crushed morale" at the station, Ms Seoige said: "No matter where they work, everybody is trying to do a good job, get on with their work and get home to their families."