Monday 23 April 2018

Pat Kenny: 'My shock move sparked soul-searching at RTÉ'

The broadcaster believes his shock move inspired soul searching at RTE
The broadcaster believes his shock move inspired soul searching at RTE
Ken Sweeney

Ken Sweeney

PAT Kenny believes his shock move to rival station Newstalk prompted "soul searching" among RTE management and made them "more aggressive" in their talent management.

The 65-year-old said he found "refreshing" recent comment by RTE's head of news and current affairs Kevin Bakhurst that he didn't know whether RTE's decision to let Kenny go revealed "a failure of management or strong management".

Pat Kenny told the Herald:"I thought Kevin Bakhurst's comments were refreshing because it means that there is some soul searching in there (RTE) about what happened.

"It's amusing the way Kevin puts it, because he can't make up his mind, whether it was brilliant, that they didn't do what they might have done to keep me there? Or was it absolutely dismal that they didn't do it? I won't be calling it for Kevin either."

However, he said that his departure from RTE after 41 years last July when contract negotiations broke down, changed how the station now dealt with their big-name broadcasters.

"RTE will be more much aggressive in talent management in deciding who they want and don't want. It's a freelance world after all, and RTE are entitled to make those decisions."

Kenny's new morning show on Newstalk has already attracted controversy for an interview with former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern before the Dublin vs Mayo match. Kenny only quizzed the ex-politician about sport, to the annoyance of some listeners.

"There were legal reasons why Mr Ahern could only talk on the subject of the Dubs which is dear to him. We made an agreement, there was the chance we would suddenly have been talking to 'dead air' if we reneged on that agreement because the interview took place over the phone.

"That said, when certain processes are played through, the ambition would be to have Mr Ahern on again for a different interview," Kenny said.

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