RTÉ is to close its existing Athlone studio as part of a major restructuring of its regional operations.
The broadcaster announced today (Friday) that its operations in Athlone, Sligo, Dundalk, Galway and Waterford would move to the local institutes of technology.
It stressed that its regional coverage would continue as all its regional correspondents would remain in place, including the midlands' reporter Ciaran Mullooly.
It added that "while some other staff roles will be reviewed, there will be no job losses as a result of these changes".
There are two other full-time RTE staff members based in the Athlone studio and it is not known what roles will now be provided for them.
It is not yet clear if alternative studio arrangements will be in place in local ITs, or whether the ITs will simply facilitate the transmission of editorial content to RTE headquarters in Dublin.
RTÉ said its new arrangements with local ITs would place it at "the centre of technological and educational innovation and link it to a future generation of media industry leaders".
Over the next few weeks, joint working groups will be established between each IT and RTÉ to look at the range and potential of these new relationships.
The new plan will begin from January 2013.
As part of the re-structuring, RTÉ has already re-deployed journalists from Cork, Limerick and Belfast to Dublin. Nuacht staff have moved from Donnybrook to Connemara. From January Nuacht Radio will broadcast from Casla. It will also be the base from where the first-ever Irish language online unit will operate.
RTÉ offices in Cork and Limerick will be maintained. Nationwide will remain in its location in the Cork base. The new afternoon programme Today will be broadcast from there from November. In Limerick, the regional office and RTÉ lyric fm remain in place, while RTÉ has now accepted an invitation to participate with Limerick County VEC in the country's first secondary school media studies course. This will be for students in Coláiste Chiaráin, Croom, County Limerick. The size of the Belfast office will also be reduced. The Breakfast with Hector programme on RTÉ 2fm is also in discussions with GMIT as part of the new initiative.
The Presidents of the five Institutes of Technology have welcomed the new partnerships with RTÉ.
Professor Ciarán Ó Catháin said that: "Athlone Institute of Technology is delighted to partner with RTÉ in providing studio facilities for the national broadcaster. This will help ensure that events and news from the Midlands will continue to form an important part of RTÉ's news output."