Last night, RTÉ announced it's making some massive changes. RTÉ's plan aims to tackle the financial crisis it finds itself in. 200 jobs will be cut by 2020, fees paid to top on-air presenters will be cut by 15%, and executives will take a 10% pay cut. RTÉ's digital radio stations (RTÉ 2XM, RTÉ Pulse, RTÉ Gold, RTÉjr Radio and RTÉ Radio 1 Extra) will cease. Additionally, their studio in Limerick is set to close while services such as Aertel, Ireland's teletext services, will be dumped.
Somehow, the shutdown of Aertel ended up sparking the biggest reaction on Twitter last night. It just goes to show the power of nostalgia, really.
The service offered up-to-the-minute sports scores, news headlines and the weather forecast. But now people turn to apps or the internet for that stuff, rendering Aertel superfluous.
Still, many mourned its cancellation today.
Aertel, forgotten but not gone. Amazing it’s still there. They’ve been talking about scrapping it for years. https://t.co/23nBBcc2WC
— colin coyle (@colincoyle) November 7, 2019
RTE dropping Aertel? ‘221’ for soccer results was such a huge part of my childhood. pic.twitter.com/F20kbEfTLy
— Stephen Devine (@stephendevine89) November 7, 2019
— Paul Tracey (@paultracey82) November 7, 2019
So I see RTE are getting rid of Aertel. Can someone fax me if they hear an update on the Vieira rumours pic.twitter.com/JJhQ9nrcsO
— Barry Wilson (@barrywmusic) November 7, 2019
There needs to be a Late Late special for Aertel. 🙁
— Wolf Pack (@Wolfpac86) November 7, 2019
I'm 55 & I didn't use a computer until I started work in 1983, & that was a dumb terminal, where you could only look up info. I'm not shocked that there are people older than me, especially those who never worked in an office, who can't use computers & who still use #Aertel
— David J McDonagh (@McDonaghDJ) November 7, 2019
— Joan O'Sullivan (@osullijo) November 7, 2019
Is this the day we finally get #RTEGold trending...
C'mon - Aertel is trending !
— Will Leahy (@willleahy) November 7, 2019
— CROSSY (@CrossyTweets) November 7, 2019
The Aertel and Lyric FM tweets are interesting this morning.... 😳 pic.twitter.com/Q0hAW4Mx1V
— Simon Murdoch 📻📱 (@Simon_Murdoch) November 7, 2019
Sad that Aertel is being turned off just days before it was due to become self aware and bring about Judgement Day
— Mallow News (@MallowNews) November 7, 2019
Had the pleasure of meeting AERTEL at a charity do once. He was surprisingly down to earth, and VERY funny.
— James Kelleher (@etienneshrdlu) November 7, 2019
RTÉ intends to reduce projected costs by €60m over the next three years. Director General Dee Forbes estimates that it is losing up to €50 million each year through TV licence evasion, public funding and collection costs.
She said they remain in discussions with the government regarding funding and hope to reform the TV license system.