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Wednesday 24 September 2014

Highly paid RTE stars can't empathise with financial difficulties, says TV3's Mark Cagney

Published 18/08/2014 | 14:55

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Ireland AM presenter Mark Cagney believes the TV3 breakfast show has connected with the Irish public because the presenters' salaries are significantly less than those of their RTE peers.

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“We’re not earning crazy money," he said.  "It’s hard to think someone in RTE can empathise with financially difficult situations when they have such big pay packets.”

Cagney was speaking at the launch of Ireland AM's new set, which has been installed in advance of their fifteenth anniversary celebrations on September 19.

“I can’t believe we’re still here,” he told the Irish Independent. “I didn’t think we would last a month but fifteen years on and we’re still going strong.”

Since its inception, Ireland AM has had many female hosts including Amanda Byram, Claire Byrne, Maura Derrane and Elaine Crowley.

“I have had a lot of TV wives over the years,” Mark said. “And I have a feeling some of them might be calling by the studio when we celebrate our birthday.”

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Presenters Aidan Cooney, Sinead Desmond, Mark Cagney, Anna Daly and Alan Hughes pictured at the unveiling of the new Ireland Am set at Tv3 Studio's in Ballymount
Presenters Aidan Cooney, Sinead Desmond,Mark Cagney,Anna Daly and Alan Hughes   pictured at the unveiling of the new Ireland Am set at Tv3 Studio's in Ballymount
Presenters Aidan Cooney, Sinead Desmond,Mark Cagney,Anna Daly and Alan Hughes pictured at the unveiling of the new Ireland Am set at Tv3 Studio's in Ballymount Dublin
Presenter Alan Hughes pictured at the unveiling of the new Ireland Am set at Tv3 Studio's in Ballymount Dublin
Presenter Alan Hughes pictured at the unveiling of the new Ireland Am set at Tv3 Studio's in Ballymount Dublin

The broadcaster believes the introduction of new station UTV Ireland will not pose any threat to TV3’s audience figures.

“I couldn’t care less. Bring it on – that’s what I say. It definitely won’t affect Ireland AM – if RTE haven’t managed to produce a breakfast show I don’t think UTV Ireland will. But I welcome the competition and challenge.”

Cagney believes Ireland AM has connected with people around the country as the presenters salaries are substantially less than their RTE counterparts.

Irish Independent

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