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RTÉ delays revealing its list of top 10 earners until next year


Ryan Tubridy topped RTÉ’s 2016 pay

Ryan Tubridy topped RTÉ’s 2016 pay

Ryan Tubridy topped RTÉ’s 2016 pay

RTÉ will not be publishing its annual list of top 10 earners before the end of this year, the Herald has learned.

The broadcaster has confirmed it will not be publicly unveiling those presenters who are the highest paid in the organisation.

As a result, the most recent figures for its top 10 list date back four years to 2016, a compilation that was released in December 2018.

Asked why it is delaying the release of the figures, a spokesperson said: "Like many organisations, RTÉ has carried over a number of items and activities into 2021 - including the announcement of details of our highest earners.

"RTÉ expects to announce details of its highest earners in early 2021."

In the UK, the BBC released its list of highest paid presenters as part of its annual report in September.

Cork's Graham Norton was third on the list, with earnings of £725,000 to £729,999 (€805,000 to €810,000).

Asked about its own list of top earners, RTÉ said at the time that it "will release details in the coming weeks" and that "no specific date" has been agreed yet.

RTÉ has been publishing its highest-paid presenter earnings since 2008 following a public commitment by the broadcaster.

According to the 2016 figures, Ryan Tubridy was the top earner with a salary of nearly €500,000 while Ray D'Arcy was second on €450,000 and Joe Duffy was in third with €398,000.

In fourth place was Sean O'Rourke, who retired from RTÉ in May, on €308,000.

RTÉ's finances have been under the spotlight for a number of years now, prompting a Government pledge of €50m of taxpayers' money to back public service broadcasting.

The situation seemed bleak in June when a submission to the Dáil's Covid Committee revealed how the organisation was coping during Ireland's first lockdown.


Both commercial revenue and licence-fee income were down at that point, with advertising "severely" affected.

At the time, ministers were given a gloomy projection, forecasting losses of €36m at the organisation.

"As businesses ceased trading so too did their need to advertise," RTÉ said.

"The need for additional programming, among other Covid-related demands, resulted in additional expenditure."

This was down to the introduction of Covid-19 safety protocols that had to be brought in to ensure that filming and radio broadcasting could continue to be done safely.

However in September RTÉ reported a turnaround in its financial situation.

It amended a previous forecast of losses of €36m to one that was between €10m and €20m as audience interest in its news content soared during the pandemic.

The organisation found itself at the centre of a controversy last month after photos emerged of a staff retirement party at RTÉ headquarters where instances of poor social distancing were observed.

Big-name stars were pictured in close contact with other staff members without any face coverings.

A review by RTÉ concluded that five safety breaches had occurred and staff at the party would have to retake a Covid safety course.