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The latest technology and a new couch… sale of Montrose land funds RTÉ's new €1.4m newsroom

It’s out with the old and in with the News, as viewers will get the first look at the refurbishment of the RTÉ studio on the Six One news.

The state broadcaster has spent €1.4m from the sale of land at Montrose on the renovations, updating technology used for news bulletins – and adding a new couch to the set. The broadcaster sold off part of its Donnybrook headquarters for more than €100m last year.

Caitriona Perry and Keelin Shanley will be the first news anchors to present from the revamped Studio Three which now features a new ‘wrap around’ video wall – measuring 24 metres long and three metres wide – as well as LED technology and a lighting system 70pc more energy efficient than before.  

New automated HD cameras have also been installed, while the news theme tune has also been tweaked, with composer Ronan Hardiman reworking the familiar jingle and recording with the RTE National Symphony Orchestra. 

The studio will be unmanned apart from presenters and a person operating the autocue.

 It was designed by in-house RTE designers, Irish companies Ion, BVS, W Display, Piranha Bar and NoHo, and international teams Lightwell – who have worked on BBC, ITV and Channel 4 newsrooms – Vinten and Absen. 

Asked about the decision to spend some of the money from the land sale on the news room, Deputy Director of RTÉ News & Current Affairs, Hilary McGouran said: “RTÉ sold land last year and the money from the land sale had to be used in capital investment, so this is a capital investment project which has dividends to the audience because obviously they can see it.”

The last major revamp for the studio – which cost €1.3m – was done in 2009, and while it was designed to last five years it had been in operation for 1-. 

It is hoped that this investment will have a lifespan of five or more years too.

“It also offers the opportunity if there were downtime, somebody else could come in and shoot a different kind of programme here because it doesn’t look like a news studio all the time you could move this part and put in a totally different studio,” said Ms McGouran.  

The studio will be home to the Six One News, Nine O’Clock news, One O’Clock news, News with Signing, News2day, The Week in Politics, Leaders Questions, as well as breaking news specials, budget and referendum coverage.

It will also be used for other live programme coverage such as national commemorations. 

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