Ryan Tubridy seemingly sabotaged a two-year contract with his old friends with an apparently unwise statement, despite a new deal being all but signed before his road to Damascus radio reconciliation on RTÉ on September 4th.
It would have involved Tubs repaying the sum of €150,000 that he received as part of a deal involving car maker Renault. His new salary would have been €170,000 while he was set to host a new podcast.
However the broadcaster’s apparent faux pas in stating publicly that he still believes the Renault money deal did not amount to a top-up appeared like a wind-up to many observers.
RTÉ’s director general Kevin Bakhurst reacted by calling the presenter to tell him the offer of a contract was off the table.
Bakhurst told RTÉ news: “I would say he was shocked and disappointed. It was a difficult conversation.” He intimated that the Tubridy had not taken enough personal responsibility for the highly embarrassing payments scandal.
The Irish Independent reported that the ex-Late Late Show Host’s statement welcoming auditors Grant Thornton report was “tone deaf”.
Tubridy did not give RTÉ chiefs any notice of his apparently off-colour statement which featured the crucial line, key to absolutely everything it seems now, which read: “It is also clear that my actual income from RTÉ in 2020 and 2021 matches what was originally published as my earnings for those years, and RTÉ has not yet published its top-10 earner details for 2022.”
RTÉ says that while Tubridy’s published earnings for 2020 amounted to €446,250, his actual earnings were €522,500. And in 2021, his published earnings were €440,000 but in reality RTÉ gave him €515,000.
Bakhurst informed staff of the about-turn at around 7.30pm on Thursday evening according to numerous reports: “I have decided not to continue with negotiations and, as such, there are no plans for Ryan to return to his presenting role with RTÉ at this time.”
The new D-G than claimed the statement from Tubridy had “muddied the water somewhat” at a time when he was trying rebuild trust.
On RTÉ News he denied it was “petty” to terminate the talks over one line in a statement, Bakhurst countered questioning by saying: “I’d like to think it’s not petty. I was particularly disappointed. We can’t afford to be questioning the facts that are out there.”
Tubridy has yet comment on the collapse of the deal as of Friday lunchtime. He had expressed a strong desire to get back on air, describing RTÉ as his “home”.