Four RTÉ stars earn over €300k via pri­vate com­pa­nies

Irish Examiner - - News - Fi­achra Ó Cion­naith

A mys­tery RTÉ pre­sen­ter has joined stars Ryan Tubridy, Joe Duffy, and Ray D’Arcy in earn­ing more than €300,000 a year from the sta­tion in the first salary fig­ures re­vealed by the State broad­caster in three years.

RTE of­fi­cials con­firmed the sit­u­a­tion as part of a doc­u­ment which said four stars are earn­ing more than €300,000 a year and 10 are earn­ing more than €100,000 by set­ting them­selves up as pri­vate com­pa­nies in­stead of tak­ing up staff roles.

In cor­re­spon­dence given to the Dáil’s Pub­lic Ac­counts Com­mit­tee (PAC) yes­ter­day, RTE said that a to­tal of 81 peo­ple work­ing at the broad­caster have set them­selves up as pri­vate lim­ited com­pa­nies.

The broad­caster said four pre­sen­ters are earn­ing over €300,000 a year; 10 are earn­ing be­tween €100,000 and €300,000 a year; and 53 more are earn­ing up to €50,000 a year. Al­though RTÉ did not re­veal the names of the of­fi­cials, in its last salary pub­li­ca­tion re­leased in 2015 only three pre­sen­ters — Ryan Tubridy (€495,000), Joe Duffy (€416,893), and Ray D’Arcy (€300,000) — were earn­ing €300,000 or more.

The break­down means an­other mys­tery pre­sen­ter has been added to the €300,000plus a year salary bracket, with the 2015 fig­ures show­ing that pre­sen­ters Miriam O’Cal­laghan (€299,000), Mar­ian Fin­u­cane (€295,000), and Sean O’Rourke (€290,113) were on near-€300,000 salaries at the time.

Mean­while, the same RTÉ doc­u­ment shows that ev­ery episode of Fair City costs €53,500 to pro­duce, mean­ing the an­nual bill for the pop­u­lar soap comes to €10.7m. The BBC spends €270,000 per episode on its flag­ship soap opera, Eas­tEn­ders.

At a PAC meet­ing last month, RTÉ di­rec­tor gen­eral Dee Forbes staunchly de­fended the State broad­caster’s salary lev­els and em­pha­sised that RTÉ is try­ing to pro­vide as much qual­ity Ir­ish-based pro­duc­tions as pos­si­ble. Ms Forbes also noted that RTÉ and other tra­di­tional broad­cast­ers face on­go­ing bat­tles with Net­flix and other stream­ing firms for new and ex­ist­ing view­ers.

Gil­bert Fitz­patrick: Be­lieved to have gone to Gap of Dun­loe.

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