Tubridy to take over 2fm slot
Late Late Show presenter Ryan Tubridy has replaced Gerry Ryan in his old mentor's vital mid-morning slot.
The announcement was made by RTÉ this afternoon and ends weeks of speculation following Ryan's premature death on April 30th, which has left a huge hole in the 2fm schedule.
Tubridy was the expected choice having made his name originally on the Full Irish Breakfast Show on 2fm. He got his break working initially on the Gerry Ryan Show. Many see the station as his natural home.
Tubridy will host a two hour show from 9am to 11am from the beginning of August. Gerry Ryan's slot was a three hour one from 9am to 12pm, but Tubridy's slot takes into account the extra workload he has in hosting The Late Late Show.
He will continue to host his hour long show on RTÉ Radio 1 until then. A replacement for him on RTÉ Radio 1 will be made when a revamp of both stations is announced in August.
RTÉ took the unprecedented step of issuing a statement this afternoon saying that Tubridy will be paid the same money as he was paid before and that press speculation of a €1 million pay deal was "inflated, inaccurate and speculative".
The presenter earned €533,333 in 2008, the last year for which figures are available, a nearly 50 per cent increase on his 2007 earnings of €366,867.
However, his earnings do not take account the fact that he became the Late Late Show presenter last year, traditionally a role which makes the host the highest paid broadcaster in the station.
Tubridy's agent Noel Kelly said the speculation was "pure bullshit" and that it has never been about the money for his client.
Tubridy is on holidays abroad this week and was not available for comment, but he said in a statement released by RTÉ that he had a "long, hard think" when approached about the job and decided to take it.
He has said in the past that the hour long slot on Radio 1 was not long enough for him to do the things he wanted do.
"In my new role on RTÉ's 2fm I will be presenting a programme that will be very different, with a different time slot, and a different style of presenting. But I will always be mindful of Gerry and the audience he built up down through the years. I will consider it an honour and a privilege to sit in the chair he sat in for so long," he said.
There will be continuity too though as Gerry Ryan's old producer Alice O'Sullivan will also be producing the revamped show.
RTÉ Radio managing director Clare Duignan said Tubridy's appointment was in line with their stated aim of repositioning 2fm for an older audience for those between 20 and 44. The 2fm station has been slowly haemorrhaging listeners
John McMahon, head of RTÉ 2fm and Tubridy's former producer, said he had made no secret of the fact that he wanted him back on 2fm. He said the station was already making inroads into its target audience and Tubridy would help that process.
RTÉ last month replaced the late presenter's show with stand-in presenters Colm Hayes and Lucy Kennedy. The slot from 9am to midday is the most critical in the 2fm schedule both in terms of audience figures and advertising revenue.
In addition to Tubridy, some names who had been touted to replace Ryan were Dave Fanning, Ray D’Arcy, Ian Dempsey, Sean Moncrieff and The Gerry Ryan Show reporter Evelyn O’Rourke.
The latest JNLR/Ipsos mrbi survey figures last month showed Tubridy, Pat Kenny and Gerry Ryan all lost listeners, but Ryan's programme held its place as the tenth most listened to show.