Friday 24 January 2020

Crisis in RTE: Ryan Tubridy pledges pay cut to protect jobs

Ryan Tubridy
Ryan Tubridy
Ryan Tubridy helped launch the Great Garda Run 2012.

Ken Sweeney Entertainment Editor

Broadcaster Ryan Tubridy is willing to take further pay cuts to protect jobs and prog-ramming in the wake of the €25m cutbacks announced for RTE.

"I'm more than willing to do my bit," Mr Tubridy said yesterday.

With Director General Noel Curran declaring that the organisation's operating deficit was "not sustainable", the 37-year-old, who remains one of RTE's best paid presenters, also said he felt at risk from the cuts.

"I think everyone is at risk. I would be a fool to go in and plan ahead for the next five years on the basis of my job security in RTE. That's foolish. Don't forget I am a freelancer, I'm not an RTE staffer. I don't have pension rights or anything like that," Mr Tubridy said.

'The Late Late Show' host was at the Aviva Stadium yesterday, when he helped launch the 'Great Garda Run 2012' event.

But with drastic measures, including a 25pc to RTE's budget for sports rights, Mr Tubridy said he felt for colleagues in the station's sports department.

"The rights issue is going to be a problem for the sports department.

"I would say it is pretty difficult to watch the rights being taken away but it's a case of difficult decisions being made. I would hope that certain events which go today, might come back tomorrow," he said.

Hit

On the subject of his own pay packet, which has suffered a 30pc drop, Mr Tubridy, who earned €519,667 from RTE in 2009, said he had "no problem" with his wage cuts.

But he declined to comment when asked if it was "fair" that RTE had extended the 30pc cut to its top 20 presenters.

"Everyone is being hit. It's not my call to say whether its fair or not, to comment on number 14 or 15, my opinion on their pay check is irrelevant.

"What I do think is fair is that I am getting a cut, and rightly so, I think that's okay. I understand it. That's the real world... I don't have a problem with it so it's not an issue for me."

But he said he was aware of the impact cuts were having on day to day work in RTE.

"Where I am working, cuts are taking place, difficult decisions are being made. Staff are either retiring or leaving. What I am impressed by is the response of the people on the programme I am working with.

"What they are doing under the circumstances is pretty amazing."

Irish Independent

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