Wednesday 20 September 2017

'It's a fraction of what my predecessor was paid' - RTE's Sean O'Rourke on €290,000 salary

Radio host Sean O'Rourke
Radio host Sean O'Rourke

Sean O'Grady

RTE stalwart Sean O'Rourke has revealed his large salary is not something he pursued.

The Laois man (61) has presented the Today show on Radio 1 for almost four years, taking over from Pat Kenny, and is one of the highest-paid stars of RTE, taking home €290,000 per year.

“It’s one of those things. I didn’t look for it. It came my way,” he said.

“I always took the view that I would take whatever RTE gives me and I am very grateful for that.

“It’s a fraction of what my predecessor was paid. RTE set out to reduce salaries by at least 30pc and they have kept their promise.”

He said he does not take a single day for granted, after almost three decades of service to the national broadcaster and feels grateful for such a great career opportunity later in his life.

“I keep trying. I take nothing for granted. It’s a job that it’s easy to be enthusiastic about. No two days are the same.

“I think I appreciate things that happened a little later in my career that are not expected, like the job I am now doing. You appreciate them all the more.

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“I was joking with Ryan Tubridy, as my mother says, ‘mind your good job’.”

Describing his work as an “adventure”, O’Rourke – whose listeners rose to 354,000 last year – admitted the show would not be what it is without his behind-the-scenes team.

“One of the things I take great encouragement from is I go in there in the morning at 7.30am and there’s a bunch of my colleagues in there before me and it’s full on,” he told the Herald.

“They’re up early, they’re making the calls and they’re getting the guests on the show. They’re a great bunch of people to work with.”

RTE has been plagued by budget cuts for the last few years, with the radio presenter previously saying the station’s employees obituaries had been written “many times” in the past.

The radio host has kept a positive outlook on the future.

“RTE is flying. OK, things are harder, things are stretched,” O’Rourke said.

“There’s a great commitment, like what we did with the centenary. When there’s a big story, it’s the go-to place.”

Herald

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