Yates confirms Newstalk departure

Ivan Yates yesterday confirmed to listeners that Apr 6 will be his final Newstalk breakfast radio show.

The broadcaster, Irish Examiner columnist and former government minister told his fellow Newstalk presenter Chris Donoghue that he was going to take some time out “to work on a few things”.

“It is true that I have decided to opt out of my current work commitments, including broadcast media, print media and other commitments this day fortnight to focus on my financial issues,” he said.

“A lot of other speculation about my future is not to be confirmed. The Newstalk element of it is and my work with the Irish Examiner will be finishing up in two weeks’ time. It’s important not to be part of the story yourself in the media.”

He has presented the popular breakfast show for almost three years during which time the listenership has risen from 53,000 to 133,000.

Last week, the Irish Examiner reported that Mr Yates was abandoning his media career as he faced bankruptcy over debts of about €3.5m. AIB has demanded full payment of the debt by May 13 but he has said he does not think he will be able to make the repayment within that timeframe.

The 52 year-old admitted last week that his future was “exceptionally bleak” and “full of uncertainty”.

It is understood he is to travel to Britain so that he can avail of less stringent bankruptcy laws.

If he is unable to repay his debt, Mr Yates and his wife Deirdre risk losing their home and farm at Blackstoops near Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, where his mother, Mary, 80, also lives.

Mr Yates has not had control of his Celtic Bookmakers business since Jan 2011, when it was put into receivership.

He has blamed the collapse of the firm he had run since 1987 on a 50% downturn in retail betting and a move towards online gambling, as well as less disposable income among consumers, despite reducing the chain’s annual costs from €17m to €11m.


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