RTE radio star Ryan really was worth €500,000
Station suffers huge ad revenue loss
GERRY RYAN may just have been right all along.
The late broadcaster repeatedly defended his huge RTE salary by arguing that he was 'worth it' commercially because of the huge advertising revenues his show brought in to 2fm.
And almost a year after his sudden death, a leading media buyer has said the station is losing over €500,000 a year in advertising because the Ryan Line is no longer open, ratings have dropped and its replacement is shorter.
"There has been a significant move away from 2fm in that 9-11am slot to other stations," Craig Farrell, managing director of media buyer Starcom, told the Irish Independent.
"In 2009 the average adult reach of the 'Gerry Ryan Show' was 307,000 adults between 9am and noon but in 2010 this has dropped by 30pc to 216,000 adults.
"The audience that is delivered on a quarter-hour basis has also dropped by 25pc from 187,916 adults to 141,250."
Mr Farrell, whose firm buys advertising slots on behalf of clients including An Post, The National Lottery and AIB, said this is reflected in how much RTE charged for advertising in Gerry Ryan's former slot.
"A 30-second spot within the show reduced in price from €900 to €850 (-5.5pc) but more crucially the time period in which they could command this revenue was reduced as Ryan Tubridy's show only runs for two hours versus Gerry Ryan's three hours," he said.
"This means that RTE have less commercial airtime to sell at this price, resulting in a potential loss of ad revenue of about €11,000 per week."
It is understood that the earning potential of the slot has also been affected by a more widespread slowdown in the advertising market.
In 2007, defending his earnings of €520,685, Mr Ryan said the "only reason" he was paid that large salary was because RTE makes a huge amount of money out of the programme. "That's the only reason anyone should be paid a large amount of money", he argued.
It is understood that Mr Ryan's show was bringing in between €5m-€6m annually in advertising rates, making it the biggest earner on Irish radio.
However, Mr Farrell believes his death is also a significant blow to RTE television, particularly as Mr Tubridy is in talks with the BBC.
If the 'Late Late Show' host moved full time to the BBC, it could be disastrous for an RTE without Gerry Ryan, he said.
"RTE has no willing successor to take over the 'Late Late Show' should Ryan Tubridy move to the UK," he said.
"Gerry Ryan did the radio slot brilliantly and demonstrated he was equal to the role of hosting the 'Late Late Show'."
Mr Ryan (53) was found dead in his apartment on April 30 last year.