Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Business and Management., 5.8 MEDIA AND COMMUNICATIONS, Media and socio-cultural communication, Radio and Television

Publication Details

The International Journal on Media Management , 15:119–136, 2013 ISSN: 1424-1277 print/1424-1250 online DOI: 10.1080/14241277.2013.782500


In public broadcast organizations across Europe, scheduling has been transformed from a marginal, administrative activity to a highly strategic management tool (Hellman, 1999; Hujanen, 2002; Meier, 2003;Ytreberg, 2000) Ellis (2000)described it as “the locus of power in television,” organizing production and managing budgets (p. 26). The role of scheduling in public broadcast organizations today reflects the demands of increasing competition and political pressure for efficiency and accountability. However, new challenges have emerged in the transition from public service broadcasting to public service media (PSM). PSM providers must redefine their mission for the digital era and find new ways to engage audiences and enrich their societies. They also have to navigate a new competitive and regulatory environment, as they begin to compete in a cross-platform market with a range of media services. Adapting to this new arrangement will require creativity and innovation from content creators. However, as this article shows, scheduling management limits producer autonomy and inhibits creativity. Based on in-depth, qualitative interviews with key personnel from Radio Teilifís Eireann (RTÉ), Ireland's public broadcast organization, this article examines how rationalization of scheduling practices has enabled management to maximize competitiveness and cost efficiency. However, it argues that the schedule-led system curbs creative freedom and ultimately threatens to undermine the public service that RTÉ provides. It is timely then, at this critical juncture, to examine whether scheduling management has anything to offer PSM organizations in the digital era or if it should be abandoned in favor of a third model of management.