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2fm DJ Hayes joins RTE's rich list with a €213k pay packet

RTE's morning presenter Colm Hayes earned a staggering €213,954 in 2009.

The 2fm DJ is the only newcomer to the golden list of top-10-paid presenters by the State broadcaster. These lucky stars collect a whopping €3.95m in salaries.

Hayes switched from rival Dublin station FM104 in a wave of publicity in January 2007, but the show he shared with Jim Jim Nugent was slammed when it was hit with a 16pc yearly decline in JNLR listening figures.

The former Breakfast Show presenter Jim Jim abandoned the broadcaster in 2010 but denied claims he was leaving because of an alleged rift with his colleague.

In a spoof video explaining the reasons for his departure, Jim Jim joked that it was because RTE was like the opposite of the Mafia -- it made him "an offer he couldn't accept".

Veteran presenter Pat Kenny's pay packet eclipsed the next-highest paid RTE colleague by €144,000. He collected €729,604 in 2009. However, these huge figures relate to 2009 and represent a 23pc cut on the previous year, when his salary peaked at €950,976.

The reduction was due to the fact that he decided to give up the flagship Late Late Show that year. The second-highest earner was the late Gerry Ryan, who earned €585,944 -- a 7pc cut on his 2008 salary.

And Late Late front man Ryan Tubridy jumped from the fourth highest to third highest-paid RTE presenter in 2009 at €519,667.







Criticised

The Friday night talk show host is traditionally RTE's biggest paid star and next year's figures are likely to reflect that.

Radio presenter Marian Finucane -- one of only two women on the top 10 list -- collected a cool €513,270 while her colleague Miriam O'Callaghan took home €290,625.

Marian Finucane's fee has been constantly criticised as she only broadcasts for four hours a week -- on Saturday and Sunday morning.

And this pay packet was a 10pc drop from the previous year.

Meanwhile Miriam O'Callaghan's fee fell by 3.6pc to €290,625 despite taking on the Miriam Meets programme in 2009.

Director general Noel Curran pledged that all of the top earners would see their pay slashed by 30pc by 2013 as their contracts come up for renewal. Mr Curran recently the broadcaster had forked out too much money for stars in the boom years.

Joe Duffy earned €389,314, making him the fifth highest paid, while Derek Mooney's €268,985 slides the presenter in as the seventh highest earner in RTE.

Former Ireland football player Eamon Dunphy suffered the biggest drop -- a fall of 31pc to €225,485. The football panellist ended his Conversations with Eamon Dunphy programme on RTE Radio One in 2009.

And News At One frontman Sean O'Rourke recorded the smallest decrease of the top 10 -- falling to €214,084 in 2009, a drop of just 2pc.

clairemurphy@herald.ie


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