RTÉ has appointed Dee Forbes as its new director general following a rigorous recruitment process overseen by its board over the past few months.
This appointment is subject to the Government’s consent under Section 89 of the Broadcasting Act 2009.
A native of Cork, she is currently President & Managing Director of Discovery Networks Northern Europe. Having joined Discovery in 2010 as Head of the UK/Ireland operation, she progressively grew her responsibilities to eventually lead the Northern Europe region, which also includes Benelux and the Nordic countries, and has a wide mix of channels, both free-to-air and subscription. She will take up her new job later this year after a transition period.
“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,” says Forbes.
According to Moya Doherty, chair of board of 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 fifty 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.”
Before joining Discovery, she led Turner Broadcasting’s seven entertainment channels in the UK and Ireland, including Cartoon Network, Boomerang and TCM. She spent several years working at Turner in a variety of commercial roles including General Manager for the Nordic/Central and Eastern Europe and EMA regions and Head of Advertising Sales for Europe. She was also director of the Irish Times up until January 2016.
She will replace Noel Curran, who announced late last year that he was stepping down from the job after five years at the helm. Curran is expected to leave RTÉ over the next six weeks.