Pat Kenny is still top of RTE pay league -- despite loss of €250,000
New figures show 10 highest-paid presenters still raking in massive salaries
RTE star Pat Kenny's pay dropped by almost €250,000 from his annual pay packet when he left 'The Late Late Show' in 2009, according to the latest salary figures released by RTE last night.
But despite this, the 63-year-old host of 'Today With Pat Kenny' on RTE Radio One and the TV current-affairs show 'Frontline' was still the state broadcaster's top earner that year, taking in €729,604, the 2009 earnings figures for RTE's top 10 presenters reveal.
Prior to leaving 'The Late Late Show' in the summer of 2009, Mr Kenny earned €950,976 in 2008 -- a difference of €221,372. His reduced salary also reflected voluntary pay cuts agreed among freelance contractors of up to 12.5pc.
Pundit and broadcaster Eamon Dunphy also suffered a massive drop in his salary that year when he left RTE Radio One's 'Conversations With Eamon Dunphy.'
He went from the number six spot in 2008, earning €328,051, to number eight a year later, earning €225,485 -- a difference of €102,566.
But the late Gerry Ryan, who died in April 2010, retained his position as the second most highly paid broadcaster in Ireland despite seeing his salary cut by €43,921 from €629,865 in 2008 to €585,944 in 2009.
Ryan Tubridy unseated Marian Finucane at number three, earning €519,667 in 2009 when he took over 'The Late Late Show' in September 2009.
His fee compared with Ms Finucane's €513,270 salary in 2009 as the fourth-highest-paid broadcaster that year.
'Liveline' presenter Joe Duffy retained his position as the fifth highest paid on €389,314 -- a drop of €19,575 over 2008.
Miriam O'Callaghan moved into sixth spot from seventh the previous year, earning €290,625 in 2009 as the presenter of 'Prime Time' and 'Miriam Meets'. This compares with €301,667 in 2008.
Derek Mooney moved up to seventh spot from eighth, despite suffering a 10pc staff pay cut. He took in €268,985 in 2009, compared with €286,809 the previous year.
News and current affairs presenter Sean O'Rourke came in at ninth with €214,084. His pay was also subject to a 10pc pay cut as a staff employee.
Meanwhile, radio host Colm Hayes was in 10th spot on an salary of €213,954.
The salaries, which were released two years in arrears each year for contractual reasons, reflect an overall reduction in salaries of 11.2pc, from €4.45m in 2008 to €3.95m in 2009.
Pension provisions are included in the pay packet for the two staff presenters. The eight others, who are contractors are not entitled to employer pension benefits, according to RTE.
Despite the six-figure salaries, RTE last night insisted that the salaries represented just a fraction -- slightly more than 1pc -- of the broadcaster's overall operating costs.