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Here's how much RTÉ's top presenters earned from 2017 to 2019

The top 10 earners at RTÉ collectively took in just over €9 million in fees during the three-year period.

THE TOP 10 earners at RTÉ collectively took in just over €9 million in fees in 2017, 2018 and 2019, according to figures published by the broadcaster. 

Late Late Show presenter Ryan Tubridy made the most at the company in all three years, followed by Ray D’Arcy and Joe Duffy.

During the three-year period, the ranking of the top seven earners remained unchanged - Ryan Tubridy, Ray D’Arcy, Joe Duffy, Sean O’Rourke, Marian Finucane, Miriam O’Callaghan, and Claire Byrne. 

Tubridy – along many of the broadcaster’s highest earners – works as a contractor for RTÉ and earned the money through his production company.  

He presents the flagship Late Late Show on Friday nights, as well as his radio show from 9am to 10am on weekdays, earning him €491,667 in 2017, and €495,000 in both 2018 and 2019. 

Behind Tubridy was Ray D’Arcy, who earned €450,000 in 2017, 2018, and again in 2019. D’Arcy took in the money through his What Next Productions.

Joe Duffy – also a contractor – was the third-highest earner, taking in €321,071 in 2017, €404,988 in 2018, and €392,494 in 2019. 

Sean O’Rourke was the fourth-highest earner and the first on the list who is employed by RTÉ. He took in €321,964 in 2016 – up over €12,000 on the previous year – €325,263 in 2018, and €327,988 in 2019. 

O’Rourke presented Today with Sean O’Rourke on weekdays at 10am before retiring in May 2020. 

Next was Marian Finucane, who made €314,809 through her company Montrose Services in 2017. Finucane earned a further €333,013 in 2018, and €358,013 in 2019, making her the highest-earning female presenter on the list.

The veteran broadcaster passed away aged 69 on 3 January 2020. 

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Miriam O’Callaghan was next, earning €299,000 through her company Baby Blue Productions in 2017. In 2018 she took home €322,667, and €320,000 in 2019. 

Next was Claire Byrne, who earned €240,000 in 2017, and €250,000 in both 2018 and 2019 through Derrough Media Ltd. 

During the three year period, sports broadcaster George Hamilton made the top ten twice. Earning €191,496 in 2017, and €192,796 in 2018. 

Likewise, employee Daragh Maloney made the list in 2017, earning €183,743, as did presenter Nicky Byrne who’s company Studz Entertainment Ltd took home €182,400 the same year. 

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Brendan O’Connor joined the top earners in 2018 earning €240,000, and €220,000 in 2019. 

RTÉ employee Bryan Dobson earned €209,282 in both 2018 and 2019, while Mary Wilson took home €196,961 in 2019. 

RTÉ said in a statement that as part of a range of cost-cutting measures announced last year, the total fees paid to its highest-paid presenters have been reduced by 15% in 2020 and “represent less than 1% of RTÉ’s total operating costs”.

“Our presenters have been crucial to RTÉ’s output throughout this pandemic, as audiences turned to their national public media in record numbers for vital news, information, entertainment and companionship,” RTÉ Director-General, Dee Forbes, said. 

“They continue to make a significant contribution to public media in Ireland and enable RTÉ to optimise important commercial revenue, which is essential to support our public services. RTÉ has reduced overall annual operating costs by over €100m since 2008, and last year targeted additional savings of €60m over three years, which we are on course to deliver.” 

Forbes added that the fees of RTÉ’s highest-paid presenters are under constant review.

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Adam Daly

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