Thursday 20 July 2017

'You need a particular kind of work ethic' - TV3 insider hits back after Ruth O'Neill's Xpose about station's 'hardest job'

Xpose's Ruth O'Neill during the launch of TV3's Autumn launch 2016 at the National Concert Hall, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Xpose's Ruth O'Neill during the launch of TV3's Autumn launch 2016 at the National Concert Hall, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Melanie Finn

Melanie Finn

A TV3 insider has hit back at Ruth O'Neill's claims that the workload on Xpose is not reflected in the pay.

O'Neill claimed working on the show was the "hardest job" at the station.

She hit the headlines after opening up about her time on TV3's showbiz programme.

O'Neill said working on Xpose was "crazy", it was not nearly as glamorous as it looked and she and Cassie Stokes had to do the lion's share of the travelling as they don't have children.

She said she didn't get a wardrobe allowance and could change have to outfits three times a day.

"It's five days a week, sometimes six," she said. "It's evenings, early mornings, flights, editing and voiceovers, but on top of that you are doing your own hair and make-up and clothes.

"So when it comes to the 'glam' side, there isn't really any support."

Her thoughts on her year-long stint at the station came as a surprise to many there.

O'Neill initially said she was leaving because she hadn't settled and had a new boyfriend in London.

The TV3 insider said the long hours were to be expected.

"You have to work long hours and put in the effort and of course you have to travel, particularly for a show like Xpose," said the source.

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Karen Koster and Ruth O'Neill on Xpose.

"That's the nature of the beast.

"You can't take on a job like that and not expect to have to travel.

"It's all part of the package so, in that respect, it's a total no-brainer.

"Any reporter on TV or otherwise knows that it's not a nine-to-five job.

"Of course it involves long hours and having to work weekends sometimes. You need a particular kind of work ethic for it."

Addressing the issue of low pay, which was raised by O'Neill, the source said it was well-known in the industry that TV3 didn't have the biggest budgets.

"Everyone knows that we can't pay our talent the astronomical rates of RTE," the source said.

"We don't have any licence fee revenue and it's all commercially driven. It's more about getting your foot on the ladder and getting some TV experience."

O'Neill's decision to quit Xpose came as a big surprise when she made the announcement in April.

'The pay is not equal to the work' - ex-presenter Ruth O'Neill lifts lid on Xpose 

Herald

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