Changing TV Times: Lure of RTE proves too much as another TV3 newsreader jumps ship
IT'S official – the lure of RTE has proved too hard to resist again as TV3 newsreader, Sharon Tobin, is set to make the crosschannel move.
The surprise move is likely to see the profile of the popular morning news anchor rocket over the next few years, as she follows in the footsteps of some famous former TV3 colleagues by moving from Ballymount to RTE's base in Montrose.
“It's true; Sharon is leaving TV3 around the month of June.
She's going to be starting in RTE after that,” TV3's Head of Publicity, Deirdre Walsh, confirmed to the Herald.
And she added that despite her decision to jump ship, the newsreader will be sorely missed by all.
“To be honest, we were lucky to have her as long as we did. In this industry there is always a lot of movement around and people are always looking for a new challenge,” Deirdre explained.
“Sharon is a lovely girl and will be very much missed. It's going to be an exciting time for her and we wish her well.”
Sharon's move is expected to take place in the wake of her upcoming wedding this summer. And the omens are good for the newsreader, as the decisions of some of her predecessors to leave has proved to be canny.
In 2006, Claire Byrne hit the headlines when her decision to leave to front a new breakfast show in Newstalk led to a legal wrangle with her TV3 employers in the High Court.
While many questioned the blonde news anchor's move to the newly fledged national station, it has paid off.
This year her radio slot, The Breakfast Show, enjoyed a huge boost to its listenership – as the recent JNLR figures revealed that the show had upped its audience by a staggering 11,000 listeners.
Likewise, the station's first female anchor, Grainne Seoige, has become one of Ireland's undisputed leading ladies of television since her departure in 2003, after five years with the station, firstly for Sky News and later to RTE.
The gaelgoir's talk-show, Seoige & O'Shea appears to have found its feet this year, after a difficult first season. A new set and revived format have given the show a new appeal with viewers and looks set to continue this success.
And sports presenter, Joanne Cantwell, has fast carved out a name for herself as Ireland's answer to Kirsty Gallagher since she vacated her position as anchor of TV3's sports coverage to lend her talents to RTE's sports department.
While the details of Sharon's new post have not yet been announced an insider revealed;
“It's likely that she will be mainly reporting when she first moves, rather than reading the news.”
RTE were not available for comment when contacted about the move.