PAT KENNY HAS insisted that his decision to leave RTÉ and join Newstalk is not motivated by money saying that he wanted “fundamental change”.
Kenny has shocked the media world by deciding to leave the State broadcaster and join Newstalk where he will present a mid-morning show from 10am to 12.30pm from 2 September.
Kenny told Newstalk’s Breakfast show presenter Chris O’Donoghue in a video interview this afternoon that he did not want to work with “the same intensity” as he has done on RTÉ, presenting Prime Time on television and Today with Pat Kenny on the radio.
The 65-year-old said that Newstalk has “great ambitions”, saying it is a station that is growing in Ireland.
Comparing his decision to that of his departure from hosting the Late Late Show in 2009, he said:
I think people will be surprised. They would think I’m a lifer in RTÉ, but I mean there’s nothing like surprising people.
He said that he hoped to return to television screens in the future, admitting he did not know what capacity this would be. However, the veteran broadcasteer did say he did not have a “burning desire” to be on television anymore.
Asked about the possibility that he was offered more money by Newstalk than RTÉ, he insisted that money was not the “overriding factor” that made up his mind.
He said: “I had two offers on the table, the money is not the overriding factor at all. RTÉ made me a very generous offer to continue but I weighed it up, I discussed it with the family. They kind of detected the enthusiasm I had for fundamental change.”
He said staying at RTÉ would have been the “easiest thing in the world” but said he is someone who likes “even to surprise myself sometimes”.
Kenny said that he hoped that his listeners on RTÉ would “slide up the dial” to listen to him on Newstalk. ”
There will hopefully the same rigour, the same discipline, the same curiousity,” he said of his hopes for his new programme.
Watch the full interview, via Newstalk: