Thursday 17 January 2019

D'Arcy received €50,000 pay hike as TV show aired

Ray D'Arcy. Photo: Andres Poveda
Ray D'Arcy. Photo: Andres Poveda
Sorcha O'Connor

Sorcha O'Connor

Ray D'Arcy has enjoyed a €50,000 pay hike, bringing his earnings to €450,000, the latest figures on RTÉ's high earners revealed.

The radio and TV host, who is paid through the company What Next Productions Ltd for his work with the station, earned €450,000 in 2016 and €400,000 in 2015.

It is understood that this €50,000 jump was due to the fact his Saturday night TV show did not air for the full year in 2015, but started in September of that year.

This is in contrast with 2016, in which he presented both his TV and radio show for the full calendar year.

The presenter joined the station in 2014, leaving his role with Today FM.

His reported salary of up to €500,000 for returning to RTÉ was condemned in the Dáil as "ludicrous" at the time.

Ryan Tubridy. Photo: Andres Poveda
Ryan Tubridy. Photo: Andres Poveda
George Hamilton
Mary Wilson. Photo: David Conachy

The move prompted a Fine Gael TD to call for a pay "cap" at the State broadcaster.

Fine Gael TD Ray Butler called for the cap, but it was not clear if this related to funding or salaries in RTÉ.

"To see people getting €500,000 to go on RTÉ is ludicrous," he said.

Meanwhile, it was 'Late Late Show' host Ryan Tubridy who topped the latest RTÉ pay list.

He is another contractor with the station, through Tuttle Productions Ltd.

Tubridy's wages remained unchanged over the two years, earning €495,000 in both 2015 and 2016.

A new addition to the highest earners list in 2016 compared to 2015 was sports broadcaster George Hamilton.

This may be attributed to the Uefa European Championship - or the Euros - taking place in 2016, with Ireland competing in the tournament that year.

Landmark

Meanwhile, 2016 was a year of commemoration and it is understood that coverage of events during the landmark year, which celebrated 100 years since the 1916 Rising, resulted in more work for the broadcasters who took part.

There were four women included in the 2016 list of highest earners: Marian Finucane came in fifth with €300,617; Miriam O'Callaghan took home €299,000, ranking sixth; Claire Byrne earned €216,000 in seventh place; and rounding off the top 10 was Mary Wilson, earning €185,679.

And while there is one more woman compared to 2015 figures, the rankings have been given a shake-up.

In 2015, O'Callaghan ranked fourth, while she has now slipped to sixth.

Overall, all of their salaries have either remained the same or increased compared to 2015.

In the top 10, three of the RTÉ stars were direct employees of the station, while the others were contractors.

Employees included Sean O'Rourke who earned €308,964, Bryan Dobson who earned €198,146, and Mary Wilson who earned €185,679.

RTÉ director-general Dee Forbes said that the figures released for 2016 show RTÉ "maintain their commitment to reduce these earnings by 30pc as compared to 2008 levels, while continuing to value the significant contribution presenters make, and to RTÉ's ability to optimise commercial revenue to support Ireland's public media".

"This will continue to be an area of focus for me," Ms Forbes said.

Irish Independent

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