RTÉ Reveals Drop In Big Earners Pay Packets But Claire Byrne Sees Pay Skyrocket

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Claire Byrne

RTÉ has published details of the fees paid to its top presenters for 2021 with earnings of its top ten presenters dropping significantly over a two-year period.

The report shows the fees paid to its highest-earners dipped by 15% in both 2020 and 2021.

Ryan Tubridy remains the state broadcaster’s highest paid presenter – with annual earnings of €440,000 – despite a €55,000 decrease in pay between 2019 and 2021.

Fellow radio one presenter Ray Darcy’s earnings remained at €305,000 after a significant decrease from €450,000  between 2019 and 2020.

Liveline’s Joe Duffy’s decrease in earnings slumped from €392,494 in 2019 to €351,000 in 2021, while Miriam O’Callaghan’s pay also fell from €320,000 in 2019 to €263,500 in 2020 and 2021.

Just two presenters in the top ten list saw a consistent escalation in pay from 2019 to 2021, including Claire Byrne and Brendan O’Connor.

The former’s earnings skyrocketed from €250,000 in 2019 to €350,000 in 2021, while the latter’s pay rose from €220,000 to €245,004 during the same period of time.

Bryan Dobson’s pay rose from €209,282 in 2019 to €217,332 in 2020 before returning to €209,282 the following year.

Mary Wilson also saw a brief rise in 2020 of approximately €8,000 to €204,537 before returning to €196,961.

Top ten earners in RTE in 2021

Ryan Tubridy – €440,000
Joe Duffy – €351,000
Claire Byrne – €350,000
Ray Darcy – €305,000
Miriam O Callaghan – €263,500
Brendan O’Connor – €245,004
Bryan Dobson – €209,282
Mary Wilson – €196,961
Darragh Maloney – €183,738
George Lee – €179,131

RTÉ Director-General, Dee Forbes, said, “Today we are publishing the fees paid to RTÉ’s highest-paid presenters for 2020 and 2021, which confirms a total reduction of more than 15%.

“Our presenters play an important role in RTÉ’s provision of vital news, information and entertainment to audiences right across the country and enable us to generate commercial revenue which is essential to fund RTÉ’s public services. We are aware that the fees of high-profile presenters attract considerable public interest.

“Over the past 15 years RTÉ has reduced these fees by circa 40%. We continue to keep them under review.”

Total earnings paid to RTÉ’s top talent reportedly represents less than 1% of total operating costs.