Wednesday 20 September 2017

Browne's in the black as media firm makes €189,000

Vincent Browne’s last TV3 show, with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.
Vincent Browne’s last TV3 show, with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

Gordon Deegan

The media firm led by veteran and combative broadcaster Vincent Browne recorded profits of €188,889 last year.

New accounts just lodged by Village Communications Ltd with the Companies Office show that the profit for 2016 meant the Limerick man was sitting on accumulated profits of €200,183 at the end of December last.

Browne stepped down as presenter of the 'Vincent Browne Show' on TV3 in July after a decade presenting the show.

He is currently working on a TV documentary on Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams.

The accounts show that in spite of being one of the country's best known broadcasters, Village Communications paid Browne a salary of €60,000 or less last year.

Browne (73) is one of the two directors of the company along with his daughter, Emma. The joint pay to the two - no breakdown is provided - shows that the directors last year received €60,000 in remuneration.

This followed a payout of €60,000 to directors in 2015.

The company has been making consistently strong profits in recent years - the profit last year follows a profit of €237,413 in 2015 and €206,485 in 2014.

The accounts show that during the year, the firm's cash pile almost tripled, going from €15,916 to €43,266.

Earlier this year, Mr Browne bought back the right to publish 'Magill' magazine - 40 years after it was first launched.

In 2015, Browne's Village Communications Ltd firm purchased a property and its book value at the end of last year was €780,626.

The firm took out a loan of €425,000 to finance the purchase and the amount owed in loans last year reduced from €425,000 to €189,010.

Browne's lucrative contract with TV3 for his nightly TV show allowed him to put his financial troubles behind him.

The outspoken broadcaster racked up losses of €1.8m as a result of his costly 'Village' magazine venture - Browne's editorship of the magazine ceased in 2008 and it continues to be published today by Ormond Quay Publishing Ltd.

The shareholder funds by Village Communications Ltd at the end of December last totalled €480,189 and this included €279,998 in a share premium account.

In a radio interview where Browne admitted that his losses from 'Village' topped €1.8m, he said: "There is a buzz out of print journalism that you don't get in broadcasting… but by God, it was costly"."

In 2013, Browne declared that he was debt free for the first time in decades after selling his family home in south Dublin.

Irish Independent

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