Monday 24 October 2016

'I'm looking for new opportunities', says Pat Kenny amid TV3 link rumours

Published 30/08/2016 | 07:32

Pat Kenny. Photo: Jason Clarke
Pat Kenny. Photo: Jason Clarke

Pat Kenny said he has been looking for "new television opportunities" when asked if he will be presenting TV3's revamped current affairs show.

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The Newstalk presenter is expected to be confirmed as the big-name signing for its news show at tomorrow's TV3 media launch, as they unveil their autumn schedule.

He has dipped in and out of various TV projects since he left RTE after 41 years with the broadcaster in 2013. Now he has been tipped to take over TV3's Wednesday night current affairs show.

The former Frontline presenter said there's been an "active process under way" when asked if he was seeking a new TV project.

Pat Kenny.
Pat Kenny.

"Anything I decide to do will become clear in time. I've always been looking at television opportunities. I enjoyed In the Round with UTV Ireland.

"It was clear they were headed for change anyway," he told the Herald. "They were put on the market shortly after I arrived. Then I did a thing on the Trial of the Century for TV3 and it's the way I like to work. I can choose projects if they appeal to me. My day job is Newstalk and, if other projects come my way, I'll consider them."

Kenny will mark his three-year anniversary with Newstalk this Thursday and said he has enjoyed the leap into the unknown which came with him leaving RTE.

His morning radio slot will also be extended and moved from 9-12pm next month.

"What excited me then still excites me now. There's a kind of collegial atmosphere in Newstalk. It's a very co-operative environment," he said.

His former employer, RTE, hit the headlines recently after a flurry of high-level executives left the station in the wake of Dee Forbes taking over as director-general.

Asked for his opinion on the changes, the broadcaster said it was "the end of an era in one sense".

He said this was the first time a DG had come in from the outside and wasn't "home grown", citing former DGs like Vincent Finn, Oliver Maloney and Cathal Goan.

"This is someone who's coming in from the commercial sector, and I've heard great things about her," he said. "She will work to a different imperative and there is an element of leaping into the unknown. No one knows how it's going to impact the station.

"There are also people that might have had ambitions to ascend to the highest office in RTE, and if those ambitions are now delayed for seven years - the length of the office - they may look elsewhere for a new challenge."

He also welcomed the increased investment in Irish stations like TV3 from its new British owner, Virgin Media, which has also acquired UTV Ireland in a €10m deal.

"The sector should become more lively now. TV3 will have better investment, a big owner with deep pockets," he said.

"It's the environment I've always wanted - where you can come and go into RTE or the private sector and nobody will think the worst of you."


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