Friday 15 November 2019

Yates: 'Presenters' fees are down by a third - you just have to suck it up'

Co-presenters Matt Cooper and Ivan Yates
Co-presenters Matt Cooper and Ivan Yates
Niamh Horan

Niamh Horan

Matt Cooper has revealed how he and Ivan Yates came to a gentleman's agreement before salary negotiations with TV3.

As they prepare to take over from Vincent Browne, Matt told the Sunday Independent that there was never going to be an issue over what either man would take home. "We are joint billing and co-presenters, so I said to Ivan we should be getting the same," he said.

"Both myself and Ivan discussed it beforehand, agreed to a rate, and said we would both go for the same thing. Then I went and discussed it with Bill Malone and he gave me what TV3 were prepared to pay and I suggested the figure to Ivan and we both agreed to it."

But Ivan explained how he had to take a sizeable pay cut, given today's broadcasting market.

He said: "As a rule of thumb in the private sector, both in radio and TV, I would say presenters' fees in my experience - even as against two to three years ago because a certain percentage of all revenues are going to Google - I'd say that the fees of presenters are down about a third.

"That's the market reality as I return to full-time work, so I have to suck it up and I am quiet happy to do that, but that's really a truthful reality."

He added: "I'll be frank with you. What I am getting [altogether] from TV3, Newstalk for [my new radio show] The Hard Shoulder, which is a full-time gig on my own, plus writing for the Independent, is less than what I was getting on Newstalk Breakfast.

"But I'm not making an 'Ivan' point. I'm glad to have the opportunity of this job. I have fully agreed to the pay and I don't have a problem with it. I'm just saying that the market has changed for presenters, which I accept fully."

Speaking about the dynamic between the two stars, Ivan said co-presenting was a comfort zone rather than a hassle when broadcasting.

"Matt is what it says on the tin. He brings professionalism, journalism, his experience as a national editor; that is he will say 'these are the angles'. Whereas, for me, my role is a lot more disruptive, provocative, it's full of punditry, it is to attribute motives and it just allows me to be more terrorist about it all.

"I am also very comfortable having opinions that swim against the tsunami of group- think."

Meanwhile, speaking about his new radio show The Hard Shoulder, Ivan said: "It is a very big deal for me. I hope to bring the best of The Right Hook and the best of Newstalk Drive and the right combination of conversation, craic, controversy, opinion and rolling news. There is a really good production team behind it, so I am really excited about that and there will be huge commitment from me."

Tonight will air on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays in Vincent Browne's old 11pm slot.

Sunday Independent

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