Three women among top 10 RTÉ presenters, pay figures show

Ryan Tubridy, on €495,000, leads 2015 list, followed by Ray D’Arcy and Joe Duffy

‘Late Late Show’ presenter Ryan Tubridy is the highest paid with a €495,000 salary, newly released figures show. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

‘Late Late Show’ presenter Ryan Tubridy is the highest paid with a €495,000 salary, newly released figures show. Photograph: Aidan Crawley


Ryan Tubridy kept his place as the best paid presenter at RTÉ in 2015 with a salary of €495,000, while only three of the top 10 on-air earners at the broadcaster are women, new figures show.

RTÉ brought forward the publication of its highest paid presenter list for the year 2015 following the disclosure of a gender pay gap at the BBC and public comments by several female RTÉ presenters and journalists about a similar gap in RTÉ.

Mr Tubridy, who presents the Late Late Show and the 9am-10am slot on Radio 1, was paid the same salary he received in 2014, when he also topped the list.

The second-highest paid was Ray D’Arcy at €400,000 followed by Liveline presenter Joe Duffy at €389,988.

Mr D’Arcy left Today FM at the end of 2014 and rejoined RTÉ to host a mid-afternoon radio show on Radio 1 and resume his television career.

Prime Time and Sunday radio presenter Miriam O’Callaghan was the highest paid woman with a salary of €299,000, up from €280,445 in 2014.

She was followed closely by weekend radio presenter Marian Finucane, who rounded out the top five with pay of €295,000, the same as the year before.

Radio 1 mid-morning presenter Seán O’Rourke was paid €290,113, a very similar figure to 2014, while Claire Byrne was paid €201,500 in 2015 for presenting Prime Time and her Saturday radio show.

Ms Byrne has previously appeared on RTÉ’s top ten highest earners, but did not do so in 2013 or 2014, when she took periods of maternity leave.

She is one of seven of the top 10 presenters to be paid through a personal service company.

Former Westlife star Nicky Byrne, who presents The Nicky Byrne Show with Jenny Greene on 2fm, was paid €200,583 in 2015. It is his first appearance on the list.

The figure does not include his work co-presenting Dancing with the Stars, which began in 2017 and goes through a production company. Ms Greene, a DJ whose collaboration with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra has sold out several arena concerts around Ireland, does not appear on the list.

Six-One News presenter Bryan Dobson, ninth on the list, was paid €195,816. Sharon Ní Bheoláin, who also presents Six-One news, does not feature in the top ten.

Ms Ní Bheoláin recently told the Sunday Independent that the pay gap between her and Mr Dobson had narrowed since 2014, but that her pay was “still considerably less than that of Bryan’s”.

Number ten on the list is sports presenter Darragh Maloney, who earned €188,803 in 2015. Like Mr Dobson and Mr O’Rourke, Mr Maloney is an employee rather than a contractor.

The salaries of George Lee, Richard Crowley and Derek Mooney are no longer published as they have fallen out of the top ten. Former 2fm presenter Colm Hayes, who was ninth on the list for 2014, has since left RTÉ.

RTÉ said its top ten presenter earnings for 2015 represented less than 1 per cent of its total operating costs in 2015 and less than 2 per cent of total personnel related operating costs.

“The issue of gender pay is an important one,” said director-general Dee Forbes.

“It is crucial to understand, in terms of the top 10 figures released today, that many factors influence presenter fees - there are significant variations in programme commitments, broadcast hours and audience numbers,” she said.

Ms Forbes confirmed that RTÉ’s new director of human resources, Eimear Cusack, had initiated a review of role and gender equality across the organisation.

RTÉ has hired Kieran Mulvey, former director-general of the Workplace Relations Commission, to provide independent overview and make recommendations.

It was initially hoped that this would review would be published within a fortnight, but it is now expected to do so not later than September 13th.

“In parallel with that, I will also be working with channel and station management to look at greater representational equality in terms of the make-up of our contributor panels,” Ms Forbes said.

The director-general added that RTÉ had close to a 50-50 gender split across the organisation and took its obligations “very seriously” in this regard.

RTÉ said the pay received by its ten highest earners was 34 per cent lower than the top 10 presenter bill in 2008. It said this exceeded a commitment to reduce fees to on-air presenters by at least 30 per cent compared to 2008.

Top 10 list

1. Ryan Tubridy €495,000

2. Ray D’Arcy €400,000

3. Joe Duffy - €389,988

4. Miriam O’Callaghan - €299,000

5. Marian Finucane - €295,000

6. Sean O’Rourke - €290,113

7. Claire Byrne €201,500

8. Nicky Byrne €200,583

9. Bryan Dobson - €195,913

10. Darragh Moloney €188,803