Accumulated profits top €1.12m at Marian media farm

Marian Finucane.

Accumulated profits at the media firm owned by one of Ireland’s most popular broadcasters, Marian Finucane last year increased to €1.128m.

That is according to new accounts filed by the RTE presenter’s Montrose Services Ltd which show that the company’s cash pile increased by €130,871 from €624,991 to €755,862 in the 12 months to the end of October last.

The business last year recorded a profit of €63,552 - a 70% increase on the profits of €37,518 recorded in 2017.

The profit last year takes account of a non-cash €60,000 write-down in the value of the company’s intangible assets reduced from €480,000 to €420,000.

The latest RTE figures published show that Ms Finucane was the station’s 5th best paid presenter in 2016 when she received a salary of €300,617 - an increase of €5,617 on €295,000 paid out in 2015.

Ms Finucane presents two top rated shows on Saturday and Sunday mornings and the latest JNLR figures show that Marian’s Saturday show has 364,000 listeners - up 18,000 since the last survey, though her Sunday show audience of 312,000 was down 10,000 since the last survey and down 34,000 year on year.

Ms Finucane is not a paid employee of RTE and instead is employed as contractor where her pay includes no pension contributions from the State broadcaster.

In the Dáil last month, the Minister for Communications, Richard Bruton said that he will raise concerns about the “very high wages” paid to individual presenters at RTE when he meets the broadcaster.

The Minister stated that he recognised the disquiet and public comment on the salaries paid and said it was something RTÉ itself also recognised.

He added however that the station said some of its top performers were “key in generating advertising revenue” and there was a balance to be struck.

Mr Bruton was responding to calls in the Dáil for greater accountability on spending by RTÉ amid disquiet that it pays an “excessive” €3 million to its 10 leading presenters.

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