Top 10 RTÉ broadcasters earn almost €3m

RTÉ’s top 10 highest-paid presenters earned almost €3m between them in 2015.

Ryan Tubridy remained the highest-paid at RTÉ with earnings of €495,000, while Ray D’Arcy was a new entrant in the list, coming second with €400,000.

Joe Duffy was third with earnings of €389,988 — down from the €416,893 he received in 2014.

Miriam O’Callaghan, the highest-paid female presenter at the State broadcaster, was fourth with €299,000, up €18,555 on what she was paid by RTÉ in 2014.

Marian Finucane’s 2015 earnings of €295,000 were unchanged from the previous year, while Sean O’Rourke was paid €290,113.

Claire Byrne (€201,500) and 2FM DJ and former Westlife star Nicky Byrne (€200,583) were new entrants in the top 10.

Six One News presenter Bryan Dobson earned €195,913. However, his co-host Sharon Ní Bheoláin did not make the list.

Sports presenter Darragh Moloney came in as the 10th-highest paid with €188,803 earned in 2015.

The State broadcaster said the €2,955,900 paid to the presenters is a reduction of 34% as compared to fees earned in 2008.

“The audited figures released today for 2015 sees RTÉ maintain our commitment to reduce these earnings by 30% as compared to 2008 levels, while continuing to value the significant contribution our presenters make to public media and to RTÉ’s ability to optimise commercial revenue to support our public services,” said RTÉ director general Dee Forbes.

The 2008 figures included €950,000 paid to Pat Kenny, who left RTÉ in 2013.

Ms Forbes said the issue of the gender pay gap is important but it is crucial to understand that many factors influence presenter fees, with signification variations in programme commitments, broadcast hours and audience numbers.

“As stated recently, RTÉ’s new director of human resources, Eimear Cusack, has initiated a review of role and gender equality across the organisation,” Ms Forbes said.

At the Galway Races yesterday, Miriam O’Callaghan said she works as hard as she can for RTÉ: “I’m in the middle of my [TV] chat show, Primetime, I do my radio show, and that’s all I can say, really.”

However amid concerns over differences between men’s and women’s pay at the national broadcaster, she said she is grateful to be the highest-paid woman at RTÉ and that she has never suffered any discrimination there.

“I think the fact that Dee Forbes has set up this review means that she, like the BBC, recognises it to be a very serious and important issue, so I really like and respect that,” said Ms O’Callaghan.

“I don’t know why the gap is still there, there has been equal pay legislation for the past 40 years. But at least I have to say the organisation I am working in is doing a review and seems very intent on sorting it.”

RTÉ group commercial director Willie O’Reilly said the main reason for a €400,000 increase in the cost of the top 10 was the arrival of Ray D’Arcy from Today FM during 2015.

“The speculation had been... in media that Ray was on half a million. As you can see, that’s not quite the case,” he told RTÉ Radio One Drivetime presenter John Murray.

The figures emerged the same day that Department of Finance 2016 accounts revealed former taoisigh Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen among recipients of highest pensions to former ministers and other office holders, both paid €135,000.


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