Ryan Tubridy will not be ‘found wanting’ if RTÉ seeks to cut pay

‘Late Late Show’ host says he is unaware of social media chatter about pay for presenters

RTÉ presenter Ryan Tubridy  meets children from St Joseph’s Primary School in Tipperary during the Society of St Vincent de Paul annual appeal launch in Dublin on Wednesday. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins.

RTÉ presenter Ryan Tubridy meets children from St Joseph’s Primary School in Tipperary during the Society of St Vincent de Paul annual appeal launch in Dublin on Wednesday. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins.

 

RTÉ’s highest-paid presenter Ryan Tubridy said he would “not be found wanting” if asked to take another pay cut.

Mr Tubridy, who earned €495,000 in 2018, said he took a 30 per cent cut the last time he was asked and would be ready to take a further 15 per cent if required by RTÉ management.

The Late Late Show presenter saw his pay decline in 2013 when his salary of €723,000 was reduced by 31 per cent to its present level of €495,000.

In response to RTÉ’s ongoing financial crisis, director general Dee Forbes said its top-paid broadcasters need to take a further 15 per cent cut as part of a programme of measures to save €60 million over three years. The measures will include 200 job cuts.

Responding to a question about the matter after launching the annual St Vincent de Paul’s Christmas appeal, Tubridy said: “When it comes to this kind of issue, I have never been found wanting and that continues to be the case.”

Tubridy said the public feels a “great sense of ownership” over RTÉ and he hoped that they did “not lose sight of the need for public service broadcasting”.

‘A sad day’

“I think they are a very important part of the national identity and the national tapestry of who we are,” he added. “I’d hate to see that importance being lost in the fog of unhappiness for other reasons. I believe in RTÉ. If it was to disappear tomorrow, I think it would be a sad day.”

Tubridy said he is not on either “Fakebook” or Twitter and is not aware of the social media chatter about RTÉ presenters’ salaries.

“There is no responsibility for a lot of these social media platforms. That’s why we need RTÉ. Otherwise, you have this self-serving model of non-news tampered with by outside forces.

“I want RTÉ (to prosper) because I believe in journalism. I believe in people who have studied how to be a journalist and can tell us the news in an unbiased and fair fashion.”

Ms Forbes has repeatedly criticised the Government for not implementing changes to the licence fee in a timely fashion.

When asked if he thought the Government cared about the fate of RTÉ, Tubridy responded: “Some governments care more about RTÉ than others. It is up to others to decide how they are treating us. I don’t know.”