Broadcaster Joe Duffy has addressed a suggestion that he will not seek a new contract at RTÉ when his current deal expires next year, saying it is “the first I’ve heard about it”.
RTÉ director-general Kevin Bakhurst earlier this week said the Liveline radio show host had not asked for a new contract. “Joe Duffy has made it clear he is not looking for a new contract when he finishes this contract. You have to ask him. I don’t want to start talking out of school,” he told The Irish Mirror.
Duffy works for the public broadcaster as a contractor through his company Claddaghgreen Ltd. He joined RTÉ as a producer in 1989 and went to on start hosting Liveline around a decade later.
A listener phoned his Liveline show on Tuesday afternoon and said he had been “shown the door” and was not welcome in a Dublin cinema because he only had cash. In response, Duffy said it was a “great phrase” and joked about how it might be applied to his work.
“There’s a story in about five papers saying I’m going to be shown the door in June 12 months. But that’s the first I’ve heard about it. And RTÉ say he doesn’t want a new contract, that’s the first I heard about that as well,” he said.
One listener said she hoped Duffy did not go anywhere, to which he replied, “so do I”.
“I’ve never heard of anyone talking about their contract a year and a half before it’s up, or making a decision,” he added.
Duffy signed a contract with RTÉ in 2019 which runs until next year. According to RTÉ's most recent figures, Duffy was the company’s second highest earner in 2022 with an annual salary of €351,000.
In November, Mr Bakhurst announced plans for a salary cap of €250,000 at RTÉ following months of financial controversy. However, Duffy had already agreed to his contract extension and the change will only apply to new or renewed deals.
Asked about the matter, a spokeswoman for RTÉ said: “Joe has nothing to add to his on-air comments from last June.”
Speaking on his show at that point, Duffy said: “The way I look at it is my negotiations in 2019 which will go on now to 2025 are more than likely the last time I’ll be negotiating with RTÉ unless God decides otherwise or RTÉ decides otherwise. I’m not getting any younger!!”