It represents a 40% reduction on 2008’s pay for the top presenters. RTÉ director-general Noel Curran yesterday said the figures are proof of the broadcaster’s commitment to reduce the fees paid to its on-air talent.
With Pat Kenny’s departure from RTÉ, Ryan Tubridy took over as its highest-paid presenter, and earned €495,000 in 2014. However, it was down on his 2008 earnings of €533,333.
Joe Duffy’s fees bucked the trend and increased since 2008. The Liveline host was paid €408,889 in 2008, but was RTÉ’s second highest earning presenter in 2014 with earnings of €416,893.
Marian Finucane, Sean O’Rourke and Miriam O’Callaghan all featured in the 2008 top 10, and made up the rest of 2014’s top five with earnings of €295,000, €290,096 and €280,445 respectively.
Brian Dobson (€195,816), George Lee (€179,031), Richard Crowley (€174,120) and Colm Hayes (€169,992) were ranked sixth to ninth in 2014, having not made the top 10 in 2008.
The 10th highest-earning presenter in 2014 was Derek Mooney, despite the fact his earnings of €168,871 were significantly down on the €286,809 he received in 2008.
Pat Kenny along with Claire Byrne, the late Gerry Ryan, George Hamilton and Eamon Dunphy had been among the top 10 highest-paid presenters in 2008.
Four of the 2014 top 10 — Mr Dobson, Mr Lee, Mr Crowley, and Mr Mooney — are RTÉ employees, while the broadcaster paid the other six via contracts with their respective production companies.
The fees stated by RTÉ did not include the Vat paid by the company.
“With our commitment to reducing top talent presenter fees by over 30% we acknowledged that fees were too high in the past and needed to be reduced,” said Mr Curran.
RTÉ said the total top 10 presenter earnings for 2014 represents less than 1% of RTÉ’s total operating costs in 2014 and less than 2% of total personnel related operating costs.