Pat Kenny’s much-hyped move from RTÉ to Newstalk is paying rich dividends for the broadcaster with his media firm recording its highest ever jump in profits last year.
New figures just lodged with the Companies Office show that Pat Kenny Media Services Ltd recorded an increase of almost €400,000 in accumulated profits last year.
The accounts cover most of Mr Kenny’s first year at Newstalk after his defection from RTÉ, where he spent 41 years, to the commercial broadcaster in July 2013 sent shockwaves across the media industry.
While Mr Kenny may have lost tens of thousands of radio listeners by his ‘moving the dial’ to Newstalk, the change in surroundings has been beneficial for his firm’s bottom line.
According to the accounts, the profits at the firm jumped from €458,059 to €843,767 in the 12 months to the end of June last.
This compares to more modest increases in profits at the firm of €149,001 in 2013; €140,396 in 2012; €147,156 in 2011; and €128,821 in 2010.
At the time of his move, Mr Kenny stressed that money was not the overriding factor in leaving RTÉ, but admitted to being “completely gobsmacked” by Newstalk’s offer. His contract with RTÉ expired on May 21, 2013.
The cash pile at the 67-year old’s firm declined from €539,771 to €387,029 last year.
However, the drop in cash is partly explained by Mr Kenny’s firm making a fresh financial investment of €600,000 that contributed to the book value of his financial investments increasing from €352,000 to €829,512.
The accounts also show that Mr Kenny’s firm took a €120,000 hit on its investments, which were written down by that amount during the year.
The accounts are abridged and do not provide a revenue figure. The increase in profits at a small firm are dictated by the revenues, combined with the costs, including the amount in salaries and dividends, if any, paid out.
The filings show that Pat Kenny Media Services owed €468,439 falling within one year. However, the largest proportion owed (€378,649) is to the firm’s directors — Mr Kenny and his wife, Kathy.
Mr Kenny’s salary at Newstalk is not known. His pay at RTÉ was a matter of public record and peaked in 2008 when he was paid €950,976. His salary was reduced to €729,604 in 2009. It was down to €630,000 in 2010 and 2011 — a 34% decrease overall.
The most recent JLNR figures show that Mr Kenny’s audience totals some 140,000 listeners. Station editor Garrett Harte said the show was on track to reach a target of 150,000 listeners this year.
However, Mr Kenny’s current listenership is well down on the 320,000 that used to listen to his show under the RTÉ banner.
Mr Kenny is also adding to his firm’s coffers with his work on UTV Ireland.
In The Round, which sees Mr Kenny interview stars from the worlds of entertainment and sport, attracted an average of 150,000 viewers for its first show.
Mr Kenny followed up that interview with Tyrone manager Mickey Harte by talking to Commander Chris Hadfield — however, the audience more than halved to 66,000.
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