Colm's €214,000 fee comes as shock to ex-sidekick Jim Jim
THE revelation that Colm Hayes was paid more than €213,000 by RTE in 2009 came as a shock to many -- including his former on-air partner Jim Jim Nugent.
The pair were poached by RTE in 2007 after their successful breakfast radio show on FM104 came to the attention of management at Montrose.
But Jim Jim said yesterday he was surprised to learn last week that Hayes got €213,954 two years ago -- and claims RTE was paying him a "lot less than half" what his co-presenter was earning on the 2fm breakfast show.
"RTE gave me the impression that we were on very similar wages, but I was paid less -- significantly less," Nugent told the Irish Independent yesterday.
"'Betrayal' is a good word. Imagine you found out a colleague, exactly the same as yourself, was getting paid a lot more. It hurts. It's a shock and a disappointment to know you were undervalued by who you were working for."
Nugent quit RTE last year and later returned to FM104. His 2fm breakfast show with Hayes had not been a success, and Hayes had secured a different time slot. Hector O hEochagain was eventually brought in as a high-profile replacement.
Nugent's show on FM104 beat O hEochagain's show to the Best Breakfast Show gong at the PPI Radio Awards last month.
The 39-year-old said yesterday he was particularly aggrieved at the RTE pay revelation because he claimed he wrote the majority of the comedy sketches performed by the pair.
"So it's strange to think that there was a duo situation, and a completely different value was put on what you were doing," he said.
"Anyone who was a fan and listened to that show, did they think it was a fair deal?
"I came up with the majority of the comedy stuff you heard on the radio. I worked above and beyond, I stayed late, I was in early, so it feels like now I wasted my time in RTE and I was diddled."
But he does not blame co-presenter Hayes (49), saying he never discussed money with him.
Hayes was an outside contractor paid fees by RTE.
But Nugent joined RTE as a staff member, and confirmed he negotiated his own salary with the station.
But he said even with tax and PRSI deducted, he was paid significantly less than half the fees of his co-presenters.
"The difference is still fairly huge, but I suppose RTE is run like Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory. It's a mystery to me," he added.
The pair presented the 2fm show until May 2010, when Hayes left to do a mid-morning programme with Lucy Kennedy and was replaced on the breakfast programme by Paddy McKenna.