‘Not So Exceptional’


RTE headquarters in Donnybrooke, Dublin 4; Senator Ronan Mullen

The senator said the top paid celebs at the station [RTE] are not so “indispensable” to justify such extravagant pay.

“The talent is good, but it is not so exceptional to think that there is no other talent coming through the ranks.

“In fact, you could argue that RTE build up the talent and help create the name.

“It has never been established that particular individuals provide such indispensable service to the nation that fees of €300k or €400k are unavoidable.”

In fairness.

Senator Ronan Mullen to introduce laws to cap salaries of RTE stars such as Ryan Tubridy, Joe Duffy and Ray D’Arcy (Craig Farrell, The Irish Sun)


32 thoughts on “‘Not So Exceptional’

  1. Truth in the News

    Might not agree with him about a lot of other issues, but he is dead on, on this one
    Will RTE interview him on the News at One or on the main TV News at 6 or 9 this

  2. Rob_G

    I’m sure RTÉ would argue that, if they were to reduce the salaries, their talent would be spirited away by commercial stations, as Pat Kenny was.

    Though I’m not sure Newstalk will be champing at the bit to pay Marian Finucaine €300k for 4 hours broadcasting per week…

      1. Rob_G

        Well, a commercial competitor seemed to think he was good enough to pay him the €500k or whatever it was that RTÉ wouldn’t. He took a fair chunk of his listenership with him as well, AFAIR.

        1. eoin

          I don’t think Pat’s pay at Newstalk has ever been formally revealed, but if you look at the accounts for his company, you’ll note there’s no profit and loss account, but there is a balance sheet which shows movement in retained profit. There are also director salaries. If you add the salaries (for Pat and the wife) to the retained profit, it indicates “sales” for the company of around €300k. “Sales” would, presumably be Pat’s fees from Newstalk plus his speaking, MC-ing and other fees, as well as his TV3 work.

          €300k for 15 hours radio a week on Newstalk plus maybe 20 weekly shows on TV3 a year plus the odd special, plus whatever he does these days on the speaking/appearances circuit is probably around right for someone who was supposed to be #1 in this country.

          Loss-making RTE are just taking the mickey at this stage.

        2. Bort

          PK has 155,000 listeners a week estimated. Blindboy has over 250,000 registed listeners a week. Ever think RTE back the wrong horse. Irish man abroad, Those conspiracy guys, look at their listeners world wide. Are they ever on RTE?

  3. newsjustin

    Heads spinning as people agree with the Senator on Broadsheet.

    I’ve always said that there’s no shortage of talent coming up through the ranks at RTE. As long as RTE staff continue to marry each other and have children the future of RTE is secure.

    On a slightly related issue – a genuine question – are Brian Jennings and Gavin Jennings related?

      1. Ian

        That’s not too shabby, maybe we should review the salaries of senators and politicians too?

        I totally agree that the broadcaster should reduce salaries but RTÉ waste a shocking amount of money in other areas, such as shockingly bad tv programme production

    1. postmanpat

      True, could be a deal with the devil? Today: loss of earning for painful saps like Tubbs
      & D’arcy. Tomorrow : reversal of gay marriage and abortion referendum. Is this the hill we want to die on? Singing this maidens praises?

  4. eoin

    All this backlash against RTE stars and their pay must be very upsetting to the stars who gave interviews to the Sindo (Miriam O’Callaghan), Sun (Claire Byrne) and Sunday World (Darcy) last weekend. These poor saps might have been hoping to maintain, or even grow their pay in imminent negotiations at loss-making RTE.

    But, by the look of the response to last night’s Prime Time, they have their poo-e.

  5. Daisy Chainsaw

    Fire Marian and poach Jacki Ascough from Spirit who’ll recite the angelus over the bongs every Mon-Fri for only 40 loaves and 5 fish a week.

  6. V

    Boo Boos

    He’s just agreeing with the rest of us

    And there’s also the motivation that none of those RTÉ big tickets give him even the slightest nod of recognition or respect

    What are the odds that the Catholic Press Office have a list of names ready to promote to the Irish Broadcaster that will cost two thirds less?

    Or what about the means and ability to supply programming to the National Broadcaster for free?

    Make no mistake, he’s not talking in anyone elses interest beside his own


  7. SB

    Surely that would/could only apply to permanent staff? And all the highly paid people at RTE are contractors with their own companies?

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