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RTE returns feels 'a bit like coming home,' reveals Ray


Ray D'Arcy

Ray D'Arcy


Ray D'Arcy

Broadcaster Ray D’Arcy has left Today FM after 14 years for a new afternoon show on RTE Radio One in a deal said to be worth up to €500,000.

To be honest, it feels a little bit like coming home,” the 50-year-old said as the state broadcaster announced the surprise deal.

Estimates of D’Arcy’s new pay package at RTE range from €300,000 up to €500,000, which would make him one of the highest paid broadcasters at the station.

RTE last night refused to reveal what D’Arcy’s salary will be.

The Kildare man, who had 221,000 listeners in the latest Joint National Listenership Research (JNLR) report, will replace Derek Mooney on RTE Radio One next year.

Mooney, who last week announced that he was stepping down to concentrate on nature shows for radio and TV, was paid €220,000 in 2011.

Meanwhile, despite pay cuts in recent years, other top names at the broadcaster enjoy lucrative salaries.

Late Late Show host and 2fm presenter Ryan Tubridy earned €495,000 and Joe Duffy, whose Live Line Show is on just before D’Arcy’s new slot, was on €300,000 in the most recently released figures.

Bosses at Today FM expressed their disappointment that D’Arcy had left, but wished him well in the new role. They drafted in DJ Alison Curtis to present his slot from this morning.

“It is a very strange day for everyone here, and everyone who listens to the show,” she said this morning, adding: “We’re going to do our best to keep it going.”

The coup for RTE sees Montrose not only hiring one of the country’s top radio presenters, but it also removes D’Arcy from the morning slot on Today FM where he regularly beat 2FM rival Tubridy in listenership figures.

“I’m really looking forward to joining RTE in 2015. I’m excited about the upcoming challenges in both radio and television,” D’Arcy said last night.

It is understood that D’Arcy has been in negotiations with RTE over the move for months.

His Today FM show has seen several changes in recent months, with his wife and producer Jenny Kelly leaving in June to spend more time with their two children and co-producer and presenter Mairead Farrell announcing she was moving to Ian Dempsey’s Breakfast Show.

“We are disappointed to be losing Ray from our great line-up of talent,” Today FM’s chief executive Peter McPartlin said.

“I want to thank him for his great contribution and wish him well in his new venture.

“We move on as a station and begin the process of establishing another great show on Today FM.”

Another Today FM presenter Ian Dempsey last night said he’s just signed a three year contract, adding: “there’s no place I would rather be.”