Tuesday 19 March 2019

Revealed: Top 10 highest earning RTE presenters includes three women, while Ray D'Arcy was paid €400k

  • Ryan Tubridy remains top paid broadcaster at RTE
  • Three highest paid presenters were men
  • Bryan Dobson remains in top 10 list - but Sharon ni Bheolain remains off it
  • Miriam O'Callaghan replaces Marian Finucane as best-paid woman
  • Claire Byrne is one of three women in the top 10
Some of the biggest stars in RTE, and their salaries in 2015
Some of the biggest stars in RTE, and their salaries in 2015
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

RTE has revealed the salaries for its top 10 highest earning presenters - and it shows that broadcaster Ray D'Arcy returned to the national broadcaster on a salary of €400,000.

But Mr D'Arcy is only the second highest paid presenter on RTE - Ryan Tubridy maintains his position as the best paid, with a salary of €495,000.

Claire Byrne at RTE, Donnybrook, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn
Claire Byrne at RTE, Donnybrook, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn

The three highest-paid presenters in 2015 were men.

RTE came under fire when it emerged that news presenter Sharon Ni Bheolain was paid up to €80,000 less than her co-anchor Bryan Dobson - and last month promised to bring forward the annual release of its top presenters' salaries, which is usually published later in the year.

Bryan Dobson and Sharon Ní Bheoláin
Bryan Dobson and Sharon Ní Bheoláin

The latest figures deal with pay packets for 2015 - and while Mr Dobson maintains his top 10 position on a salary of more than €195,000, there is no place for Ms Ni Bheolain.

Joe Duffy is the only broadcaster in the top 10 who has taken a significant drop in his salary - falling by approximately €25,000 on his 2014 figures, and below the €400,000 threshold.

RTE said that he latest earning figures for 2015 "demonstrate a reduction of 34pc as compared to fees earned in 2008".

The reduction continues to exceed the publicly-stated commitment given by RTÉ to reduce fees to on-air presenters by at least 30pc compared to 2008 levels, it added. 

RTÉ Director-General, Dee Forbes, said: “The audited figures released today for 2015 sees RTÉ maintain our commitment to reduce these earnings by 30% as compared to 2008 levels, while continuing to value the significant contribution our presenters make to public media and to RTÉ’s ability to optimise commercial revenue to support our public services.

"This will continue to be an area of focus for me, as I look to reduce costs across the organisation.

‘Late, Late Show’ host Ryan Tubridy. Photo: Andres Poveda
‘Late, Late Show’ host Ryan Tubridy. Photo: Andres Poveda
Nicky Byrne.
Marian Finucane is one of the highest paid presenters on RTE

"The issue of gender pay is an important one. It is crucial to understand, in terms of the Top 10 figures released today, that many factors influence presenter fees – there are significant variations in programme commitments, broadcast hours and audience numbers.

"As stated recently, RTÉ’s new Director of Human Resources, Eimear Cusack, has initiated a review of role and gender equality across the organisation. In parallel with that, I will also be working with channel and station management to look at greater representational equality in terms of the make-up of our contributor panels."

RTE said the total Top 10 presenter earnings for 2015 represents less than 1pc of RTÉ’s total operating costs in 2015 and less than 2pc of total personnel related operating costs.

Ray D'Arcy returned to the national broadcaster after a high-profile stint on Today FM, and now presents on both RTE Radio and television.

He is 'good value' for RTE, the station's Group Commercial Director has insisted.

Willie O'Reilly was speaking to Drive Time on RTE Radio One this evening after the station revealed its top ten earners for 2015.

Mr O'Reilly said that the station was mandated to be commercial under law, and therefore had to offer strong salaries to talent that can land large audiences.

"Ray D'Arcy is now on less than he was in his previous employment, and he's doing a TV show and radio five days a week.

"RTE has got Ray on to our station for less than he was on elsewhere", he added.

Mr O'Reilly also claimed that if private media companies released salaries RTE would only have 'four or five' in the top ten list of high earners."

Miriam O'Callaghan has replaced Marian Finucane as the best paid female presenter at the station - earning €299,000 in 2015.

The only other woman in the top 10 is Claire Byrne, who earned €201,500. She was not in the top 10 for 2014.

Top 10 RTE presenter salaries in 2015:

10. Darragh Moloney €188,803 (not in 2014 figures)

9. Bryan Dobson - €195,913 (€195,816 in 2014)

8. Nicky Byrne €200,583 (not in 2014 figures)

7. Claire Byrne €201,500 (not in 2014 figures)

6. Sean O'Rourke -  €290,113 (€290,096 in 2014)

5. Marian Finucane - €295,000 (€295,000 in 2014)

4. Miriam O'Callaghan - €299,000 (€280,445 in 2014)

3. Joe Duffy - €389,988 (€416,893 in 2014)

2. Ray D'Arcy €400,000 (not in 2014 figures)

1. Ryan Tubridy €495,000 (€495,000 in 2014)

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