New ‘Six One’ presenters look forward to getting their feet under the desk

All the main news anchors on RTÉ One will be women following reshuffle

 Keelin Shanley and Caitriona Perry will present RTÉ Six One News, starting in January

Keelin Shanley and Caitriona Perry will present RTÉ Six One News, starting in January

 

Keelin Shanley and Caitriona Perry are “very happy” with the pay rates they have negotiated with RTÉ management for their new roles as joint presenters of RTÉ’s Six One News. The new presenters were speaking after the broadcaster announced they would take up their new positions in January.

Shanley currently presents News at One on RTÉ Radio 1 and Crimecall on RTÉ One while Perry is RTÉ’s Washington correspondent. They will replace Bryan Dobson and Sharon Ní Bheoláin, who are moving to new roles within the RTÉ newsroom.

Perry described the appointments as a “brave and enlightened” choice. “Particularly given the debate there has been in Ireland about gender bias and how certain other shows or stations are very male-dominated,” she said.

A controversy erupted in the summer over the low representation of women on a list of the highest-paid RTÉ presenters. At the time it emerged Dobson was being paid up to €80,000 more than his colleague Ní Bheoláin on Six One News for doing the same job. Dobson, ninth on the list, was paid €195,816, while Ní Bheoláin did not feature in the top 10.

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. A spokeswoman for RTÉ said yesterday that it was not the broadcaster’s policy to disclose any salaries outside the top-10 list.

Bryan Dobson joins RTÉ Radio One’s Morning Ireland and Sharon Ní Bheolain will present the Nine O’Clock News on rotation with Eileen Dunne.
Bryan Dobson joins RTÉ Radio One’s Morning Ireland and Sharon Ní Bheolain will present the Nine O’Clock News on rotation with Eileen Dunne

Shanley said the positions on Six One had been under discussion for a few weeks but had only been confirmed in the past few days. “We were both approached about it,” she said. “There’s no advertising system for this kind of job.”

Anchor slots

“This is not a job I went looking for,” said Perry. “I love the job I have at the moment. I’m very excited by the new role, but it’s a bit of a wrench.” A spokesperson for RTÉ confirmed the Washington vacancy would be advertised internally within the organisation in the coming weeks.

The reshuffle in the newsroom means that all the main news anchor slots on RTÉ One will now be filled by women. Ní Bheoláin will present the Nine O’Clock News on rotation with Eileen Dunne, and remain as a presenter of Leaders Questions. She will also be the new presenter of Crimecall on RTÉ One. Dobson joins Morning Ireland, RTÉ Radio One’s main morning current affairs show, from November 1st.

Shanley has worked as a reporter and presenter with RTÉ’s Prime Time programme for more than 10 years and has made a number of award-wining documentaries. She previously presented special budget and election coverage, Morning Edition, The Consumer Show and the documentary Hacked on RTÉ One, as well as Morning Ireland, Today with Sean O’Rourke and The Late Debate on RTÉ Radio 1.

Perry joined RTÉ in 2007 and was appointed Washington correspondent in late 2013. She previously worked for Today FM and Newstalk. She also holds a degree in journalism and a masters degree in International Relations from DCU and has just published a book on the rise of Donald Trump.