Forbes’ Rich List


RTÉ Director general Dee Forbes and 2015 salaries paid to the station’s top presenters

Ms Forbes told TDs that RTÉ currently has “inadequate resources” and seen a drop of more than €100m in the annual funds available to it between the years 2008 and 2016.

Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy said the list of top 10 earners gave “the impression that RTÉ has shedloads of money” adding that it was difficult to argue that RTÉ was “short of money”.

Ms Forbes defended the sums paid, saying it was 1pc of RTÉ’s total cost base. She pointed out that it was incumbent on presenters to ensure strong audiences in order to be attractive to advertisers.

Ms Forbes also said there was a “competitive market place” for broadcasters who may go elsewhere…

Good times.

RTÉ chief defends paying salaries of up to €495k to stars (Cormnac Quinn,

Pic via RTÉ

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66 thoughts on “Forbes’ Rich List

  1. Hank

    Yep, other broadcasters would be queuing up to throw €500,000+ at the likes of T’Ubridy, D’Arcy and D’Uffy

    1. Col

      Even if those three went elsewhere (and I don’t think they’d get much more), would it impact RTE ratings? Are there not plenty of other current staff who would be well able to do their jobs? Young talent, for example?

      1. The Dude

        The younger ones aren’t yet sufficiently groomed in terms of manufactured consent.

        1. Frilly Keane

          I dunno
          I’d make a good stab at it
          for 300k a year

          I’d even work during the summer
          weekdays n’all

  2. Joan Burton

    What a crock !
    That One show presenters in that UK get 450k a year for doing 5 live shows a week to 6 million punters , they should cut them loose and see what ‘the market’ thinks they are worth !

  3. Cian

    They get the viewers/listeners.

    Morning Ireland (Radio 1) 431,000
    News at One (Radio 1) 332,000
    Marian Finucane Saturday (Radio 1) 324,000
    Marian Finucane Sunday (Radio 1) 308,000
    The Ryan Tubridy Show (Radio 1) 304,000
    Today with Seán O’Rourke (Radio 1) 295,000
    Miriam O’Callaghan (Radio 1) 248,000
    Ronan Collins (Radio 1) 203,000
    Ian Dempsey (Today FM) 163,000
    Pat Kenny (Newstalk) 148,000
    The Hard Shoulder (Newstalk) 145,000
    The Last Word with Matt Cooper (Today FM) 138,000

    1. Brother Barnabas

      “They get the viewers/listeners.”

      hosting a radio or TV programme on the national station/state broadcaster, you’re going to get a couple of hundred thousand viewers/listeners no matter what you do or who you are. it’s pretty much the default option for most people who are into that sort of thing.

      1. scottser

        true for ya. her folks have a radio on all day that is superglued to radio one. they could put on a test tone at 440Hz and they wouldn’t change station.

        1. Col

          Yeah, this is key. I don’t think letting the high earners go and replacing them with existing staff would cost them more than it saves them.

          But then, I’m not a highly paid Director of anything. What do I know?

      2. Mé Féin

        Exactly. You could sit and fart into a microphone for two hours on RTE and see no difference in listenership.

    2. Truthful Ulsterman

      The Pat Kenny / Sean O’Rourke transition indicated that it is the fact of being on RTE that matters NOT the presenter. Pat Kenny was on €900,000 a year in his final year at RTE but we can see that he is still well behind Sean O’Rourke who is not a ‘marquee’ broadcaster in the RTE imagination.

      What those listenership figures really indicate is a slow decline from Morning Ireland on down.

      1. Bob

        These claims that a business must pay the best to get the best only makes sense when compared to their competitors. Are others really offering significant’y more than RTE. (And let’s not pretend there aren’t benefits to being in RTE where they seem to keep featuring the usual suspects over and over again as if they went to the canteen to find their presenters and guests.)

        Even then pay the best to get the best isn’t a particular convincing argument as we’ve seen from the overpaid bankers who screwed over the taxpayer during the bank bailout.

    3. The Dude

      It is notable that the shows at the state broadcaster continue to witness reasonably substantial declines in listenership.

      Flagship RTÉ Radio 1 programmes Marian Finucane, Today with Sean O’Rourke and The Ryan Tubridy Show were the main fallers in the latest radio ratings, while breakfast programmes were better performers. The Joint National Listenership Research (JNLR) for the year to the end of March suggests that Finucane’s Saturday show has seen its listenership decline by 35,000 to 324,000 since the last survey, published in February.

      Ms. Finucane’s audience is 58,000 lower than it was at this point a year ago, while her Sunday show has fallen 38,000 to 308,000, having slipped 28,000 year-on-year.

      Meanwhile Mr. O’Rourke’s show dropped to 295,000, down 17,000 since the last survey – and 59,000 since reaching a high of 354,000 a year ago. Separately, Ryan Tubridy now has 304,000 listeners – down 14,000 since the last survey and 32,000 year-on-year.

      Radio 1’s Liveline, Ray D’Arcy and Ronan Collins have also been tracking downwards on an annual basis, as has Drivetime, although it only declined by 1,000 since the last survey.

      Usually when a service provider loses market share arising in part from an obsolete business model and practices, customers are not forced to continue to pay for the unwanted product / service.

      If not for the purpose of brainwashing or manufactured consent, what is the purpose of Irish citizens being forced to pay an annual tax that subsidises these people and their obscenely disproportionately large pay?

      1. Frilly Keane

        i dunno Dude
        but I think you should volunteer to
        and help them sort it out

        1. The Dude

          Thanks Frilly. If I thought we lived in a functioning democracy, I would happily consider contributing to in my ‘real’ persona. Alas however, experience convinces me otherwise – and I see little point in potentially making myself or my interests a possible target that might be got at a later date. So, thanks – but sorry, no thanks!

          1. italia'90

            He’s talking about your Garda File and what will be put into it.
            Like…known activist, agitator, dissident, you get the picture?

    4. GiggidyGoo

      I don’t remember being asked what stations/programs i listen to or watch.

      1. mildred st. meadowlark

        Well then. Do enlighten us. I am agog.

        (I just wanted to use that word: agog.)

        1. GiggidyGoo

          I will not ye divil. I’ll wait for the phone call. Lets see, going forward (I just wanted to use that phrase incognito).

    5. Lilly

      Graham Norton gets 3.9 million viewers per show; pro rata he gets paid significantly less than the supremely untalented Tubridy.

  4. Brother Barnabas

    all offensive figures for those ungifted fools but the 400k to ray d’arcy stands out for me

      1. Brother Barnabas

        i used to sort of know his brother. he was nice. whenever anyone asked him about being ray d’arcy’s brother, he’d redden a little and mutter something about not being able to choose your family.


        1. Boj

          There was a point in time when Ray D’Arcy was actually sound and liked by the nation. I’m struggling to find when he went wayward. Towards the end of his TodayFM days maybe or was it before that?

          btw Mildred…Thank you for the word ‘wangbag’…I’ve already put it to good use today.

          1. Cian

            I think it was back when he was on The Den, and was Zig ‘n’ Zag’s sidekick.

          2. Robert

            My take on it is that it was his “idealism” that made him so likeable, but idealism ages poorly.

    1. Frilly Keane

      d’ya know what
      if he takes in Linda Martin and all that Caberat Showband Eurovision set that Mooney used to mind, then I’d nearly say let ‘im have it

      Just keep them off the telly ffs

  5. phil

    When she said ‘there was a “competitive market place” for broadcasters who may go elsewhere…’ , my heart skipped a beat.

  6. Iwerzon

    I remember when BBC Radio shed a lot of their old-school presenters for newer faces. It seemed at the time to be a good move on their behalf.
    I cannot fathom how Marian Finucane still has a couple of slots on RTÉ radio. She should be given a golden clock (or spittoon) and put out to pasture. But Joe, day’re paying dem a aar! Duffy needs to go too.

    1. Rob_G

      Marian Finucaine for me is the most grating example. Tubs, though I am not a particular fan, at least RTÉ are getting some value out of him in that they have him presenting everything. Whereas Marian turns up at the weekend, wheezes and hacks through a bare four hours of radio, picks up her €6k and is off.

    2. The Dude

      I actually like listening to Ms. Finucane. Sorry, I should say ‘monitoring’. That way I keep abreast as to who is in favour and sticking to the script. And accordingly, I am able to identify those that I know I do not want to believe.

      1. Lilly

        She has Daniel and Majella on now talking about glamping. Thank jeebus for the emergency mute button.

  7. Formerly known as

    The could pay them 50% of those ridiculous figures and I don’t think anyone else would take them.

  8. Shayna

    Yikes – I’m not sure how many commenters watched BS Live on The Telly, I made comments about Tom McGurk, used to be married to Miriam O’Callaghan, rugby presenter? Anyhoos, he’s from the same parish as myself, Clonoe, yes it’s Tyrone. Himself and my dad were friends, then he went off to Dublin, in the green, in the green.
    Despite the whole selling out to rugby thing, myself and my dad would invariably bump into himself on Jones’s Road all those times when Tyrone were parked at Pairc Crocaigh. Once a Tyrone type – etc.
    There was also, I recall a thing with himself and Miriam, vaguely. Tom is a very big man – 6′ 4″ ish – regular size for Tyrone – unleashed, jeez?
    There’s a recognized gene that appears predominantly in Tyrone, which creates giants – yes, the Giant Gene. The tallest man in Ireland is from….Tyrone – he’s 7’2″. I’ve cousins who are 6’8″, I’m a mere 6’2″.
    I wouldn’t be altogether sure what that has to do with how much Tubbers is paid, I thought it may be of interest, and all the rest of it?

  9. Eoin

    Tubridy, D’Arcy and Duffy are the worst of the five aswell. If I were DG I’d give those three six months to up their ratings and then fire the two with the lowest. Half a million a year for Tubridy’s boring, parroting, inane yap, unreal.

      1. mildred st. meadowlark

        I’ll second that.

        RTE do good content for kids. There I said it. RTE jr is the one good channel they have.

  10. Lilly

    I like Richard Curran. Could Dee be persuaded to do s reshuffle and let Tubs stay in bed of a morning.

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