Tubridy set to take pay cut of over 30%

Ryan Tubridy has admitted he will be taking a salary cut in excess of 30% next year.

The Late Late Show host is one of a number of high-profile presenters locked in contract talks.

The negotiations are being carried out against a backdrop of a net deficit of almost €16.8m last year.

“I will be taking a pay cut in the next round of salary negotiations in excess of 30%,” said Mr Tubridy at the launch yesterday of RTÉ’s autumn season.

Asked if he minded taking the cut, he said he understood it was because of the way the world is and it is not an issue for him.

“I understand these things are required,” he said.

The managing director of RTÉ Television, Glen Killane, admitted that the national broadcaster was in a tight financial situation.

Mr Killane said the broadcaster gave a commitment that it would break even in 2013 and would do “whatever it takes” to achieve that.

Asked if there would be more pay cuts, Mr Killane said it was one of a range of options being pursued.

The station had not yet completed a voluntary redundancy programme but was “quite encouraged” by the response to it, he said.

“We have reduced the cost per hour of our programming. We have tried to protect output and continue to offer a strong slate of programming for viewers.”

Mr Killane said, wherever possible, they tried to make cuts away from programming. However, there had been some casualties — Four Live and the Daily Show became the latest victims of RTÉ cuts.

“We have had to take daytime programming out of our schedules and hope to get back to that space with the help of commercial support. We simply don’t have the funds to go back there,” said Mr Killane.

Mr Killane said the digital age meant there was no longer such a thing as an Irish television market.

He pointed out that almost 80% of Irish households had access to hundreds of digital channels and most of those had no Irish programming.

“RTÉ and the other Irish broadcasters are competing against some of the largest and best-funded broadcasters in the world, yet last year, 47 of the top programmes shown in Ireland were broadcast on RTÉ,” he said.

Trial cover

RTÉ spent €126,000 covering the 34-day Michaela McAreavey murder trial in Mauritius.

The costs were revealed following an FOI request made by Sunday Times journalist Mark Tighe. He published the figures on Twitter last night.

RTÉ broke down the costs into: Staff and contractors €56,000; communications satellites & links €50,000; air fares €2,000; accommodation €10,000; subsistence €3,000; other €5,000.


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