Tubridy to take over Gerry Ryan radio slot

Fri, Jun 11, 2010, 01:00

RYAN TUBRIDY was the “only name on the list” to replace Gerry Ryan, the head of 2fm has said.

Tubridy (37) was named yesterday as the successor to Ryan, who died on April 30th, leaving a major hole in the 2fm schedule.

John McMahon, who worked with Tubridy for three years on 2fm, said the Late Late Showpresenter was the one broadcaster capable of replacing Ryan, who was the linchpin of the station for 22 years.

“In terms of a presenter who can bring an audience and a profile and do things that 2fm needs to do and produce great entertaining radio, he [Tubridy] was the only name on my list,” said Mr McMahon, who took over as head of 2fm earlier this year.

Tubridy will become the new 2fm presenter in August.

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 that station and 2fm is announced in August.

RTÉ denied reports that Tubridy would be on a salary of €1 million a year for his stint as 2fm and Late Late Showpresenter, describing this figure as “inflated, inaccurate and speculative”. The station added that Tubridy would get no extra money for what amounted to five extra hours of broadcasting a week, moving from a one-hour slot on Radio 1 to a two-hour slot on 2fm between 9am and 11am.

The presenter earned €533,333 in 2008, the last year for which figures are available, up substantially on his 2007 earnings of €366,867, making him RTÉ’s fourth-highest paid broadcaster.

However, those figures do not take account the fact that he became Late Late Show host last year.

An RTÉ source said Tubridy would now be the highest-paid presenter in the station as a result of his enhanced profile.

Tubridy, who is on holiday in the west this week, said the “time was not right for looking for more money in these times”.

He told RTÉ News: “I’m already a very well-paid broadcaster and I’m very happy with my job, I’ve come to a good agreement with my bosses in that regard.

The presenter started off as a “runner” on the Gerry Ryan Show before getting his big break on the Full Irish Breakfast Show.

Many believe 2fm is his natural home.

He acknowledged that the circle was “now complete” with his decision to return to 2fm.

RTÉ Radio managing director Clare Duignan said Tubridy’s appointment was in line with its stated aim of repositioning 2fm for the slightly older audience of 20- 44 years rather than 16-34 years.

The number of listeners to the Gerry Ryan Show had been in long decline, but were increasing again in the months before he died, attracting 307,000 listeners every morning, according to the last JNLR figures.

The slot, which ran for three hours under Ryan from 9am to midday, was the most critical in the 2fm schedule.

Ryan’s was the only 2fm show in the JNLR top 20 schedule with advertising revenue reported to be between €4 and €5 million a year.