Colm Hayes leaves 2fm after a decade on air

Presenter, who began his career in 1980s, became one of RTÉ’s highest-paid presenters

2fm presenter Colm Hayes is leaving RTÉ after a decade at the broadcaster. Hayes, who became one of RTÉ's highest-paid presenters, has most recently hosted a weekend breakfast show on the station.

Hayes (54), a contractor to RTÉ, said he planned to concentrate on a number of projects he has been working on with his production company.

“I’ve loved my time at 2fm, and now is the time to move on. Just as 2fm is evolving and changing, so am I,” he said, thanking those he has worked with at RTÉ.

Earlier this year, Hayes, whose real name is Colm Caffrey, was listed as the ninth highest earning presenter at RTÉ for the year 2014. His company, Colm Hayes Media Services, received €170,000 in fees.


Among on-air personalities, only Ryan Tubridy, Joe Duffy, Marian Finucane, Seán O’Rourke, Miriam O’Callaghan, Bryan Dobson, George Lee and Richard Crowley were paid more in that year.

He began his career in pirate radio and went on to present a number of shows for 2fm during the 1980s. At the advent of commercial radio in Ireland in 1989, he moved to Dublin’s Capital Radio 104.4 FM, which was the first local independent station and a forerunner of FM104.

In 1995, Hayes became programme director of FM104 and the presenter of its breakfast show the Strawberry Alarm Clock, the popularity of which helped the station regain a lead in listenership over rival station 98FM.

In 2006, he rejoined RTÉ to present the Colm and JimJim Breakfast Show, alongside Jim Nugent, before moving to a mid-morning slot in 2010.

In 2014, as 2fm's new head Dan Healy made the first batch of changes to its schedule in a bid to gain a younger listenership, Hayes was switched to a weekday drivetime show. He was replaced in that slot by Eoghan McDermott last year.

“Colm Hayes is one of the most outstanding broadcasters in the country,” Mr Healy said. “Over the last 10 years he has produced some of the best radio on 2fm.”

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery is an Irish Times journalist writing about media, advertising and other business topics