Top RTE stars face pay cuts of up to 30pc the new director general of the public service broadcaster said today.
Noel Curran, who is currently meeting staff on a three year plan of change, said that the organisation had already cut €82m or 17pc of its cost base and reduced staff numbers by 200 (9pc).
But RTE will now undertake another voluntary redundancy package and the target, while not revealed by Mr Curran, is believed to be 75 job losses.
Pat Kenny was RTE’s highest paid presenter in 2008 with a salary of €950,976. A 30pc reduction for him would mean a cut of €285,293 to €665,683. He is understood to have already taken a significant cut since he left the Late Late show in 2009.
Marian Finucane earned €570,000 in 2008 and a 30pc reduction would mean a cut of €171,000 to €399,000.
Ryan Tubridy’s salary is recorded as €533,333 for 2008, but he secured a significant hike by adding the Late Late show to his repertoire. RTE has not disclosed his current salary, but he is believed to be the national broadcaster’s highest paid presenter.
Joe Duffy earned €408,889 in 2008 and a 30pc cut would mean a reduction of €122,667 to €286,222.
Also included in RTE’s top 10 of highest paid presenters in 2008 are: Eamon Dunphy who earned €328,051; Miriam O’Callaghan who earned €301,667; Derek Mooney who earned €286,809; George Hamilton who earned €219,833 and Sean O’Rourke who earned €218,656.
Decisions in the Budget last year and other cost implications mean that RTE is facing a possible €30m deficit for 2011. Mr Curran said in today’s Irish Times, but following remedial action RTE is now on target to cut the projected deficit to €17m and is aiming to break even in 2013.
“In 2009 an undertaking was given to reduce significantly the fee levels applying to the top ten earners as contracts came up for renewal. RTE intends that by the time all of the existing contracts have been revisited, by end 2013, the payments total will have reduced by in excess of 30pc relative to the 2008 levels,” said Mr Curran who started his new position in February.
“There is a public expectation that RTE attract and retain outstanding broadcasters. RTE’S respect for the talent and professionalism of front-line presenters is considerable. They are a vital connection between RTE and its audience and we do not underestimate their dedication, their talents or their audience appeal,” he acknowledged.