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big bucks RTÉ publishes top ten highest earning presenters who shared €9.5m over last three years

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Ryan Tubridy is still the highest earner at RTE

Ryan Tubridy is still the highest earner at RTE

Ryan Tubridy is still the highest earner at RTE

Ryan Tubridy has topped the poll of RTÉ’s biggest earners for three years in a row.

RTÉ has published the earnings of its top ten earners for 2017, 2018 and 2019 that show the Late Late Show host and radio star coming in top of the list, followed by Ray D'Arcy and Joe Duffy.

In 2017, Ryan earned €491,667 which increased to €495,000 in 2018 and stayed at that amount for 2019 - the most recent year revealed.

Ray D'Arcy has come in second place to Ryan for all three years, with his salary maintained at €450,000 for each of those years.

Joe Duffy, meanwhile, takes the bronze for coming in third for all three years, at €398,738, €404,988 and €392,494, respectively.

The other big earners in 2017 include Sean O'Rourke with €321,071 and Marian Finucane, who died last year, with earnings of €314,809.

Miriam O'Callaghan was on €299,000, Claire Byrne earned €240,000, George Hamilton was on €191,496, Darragh Maloney earned €183,743 and Nicky Byrne received €182,400.

Both Marian Finucane and Sean O'Rourke maintained their fourth and fifth places in 2018 with Marian on €333,013 and Sean on €325,263. They were followed by Miriam O'Callaghan on €322,667 and Claire Byrne earning €250,000.

Brendan O'Connor came in eighth taking home €240,000, Bryan Dobson made €209,282 and George Hamilton rounded off the top ten with €192,796.

The top 10 for 2019 saw Marian Finucane (€358,013) and Sean O'Rourke (€327,988) again holding onto fourth and fifth place while Miriam O'Callaghan again took sixth place with earnings of €320,000.

She was followed by Claire Byrne with €250,000, Brendan O'Connor on €220,000, Bryan Dobson again on €209,282, and Mary Wilson entered the top ten earning €196,961.

In a statement, RTÉ pointed out that the highest earning presenters represented less than on per cent of their total operating costs.

The broadcaster also pointed out that it had reduced their earnings by 15 per cent in 2020 as part of a range of cost-cutting measures announced last year.

In acknowledging the role of the staff in question as crucial to their output during the pandemic, RTÉ Director General Dee Forbes said that audiences had turned to their national public media "in record numbers for vital news, information, entertainment and companionship”.

"They continue to make a significant contribution to public media in Ireland and enable RTÉ to optimise important commercial revenue, which is essential to support our public services," Ms Forbes added.

"RTÉ has reduced overall annual operating costs by over €100m since 2008, and last year targeted additional savings of €60m over three years, which we are on course to deliver. In that context, we continue to keep the fees of our highest-paid presenters under constant review," she said.

Last week, the Chair of the RTÉ board Moya Doherty said RTÉ will face a “material uncertainty about its capacity to provide the same level of services in the medium term” due to a decline in commercial revenue.

RTÉ had reported a net deficit of €7.2m in 2019, according to the annual report for that year while the deficit the previous year was €13m.

"Despite some truly great achievements highlighted in our annual report, RTÉ cannot run deficits indefinitely", Ms Doherty said.

"The current funding model is broken, and RTÉ will face a material uncertainty about its capacity to provide the same level of services in the medium term if it is not resolved quickly and definitively," Ms Doherty said.

"That is why the Future Media Commission is so important and RTÉ is fully engaged with the process," she added.


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