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pay scandal

'I should have asked questions': Ryan Tubridy apologises and confirms he's been taken off air next week

The radio host apologised for his ‘error of judgement’.

LAST UPDATE | 23 Jun 2023

  • Tubridy did not present his radio show this morning and will not be on air next week
  • The presenter said he did not seek answers when his salary as published by RTÉ was not accurate
  • He denied that his decision to step down as host of The Late Late Show was related to the underreporting of his earnings
  • He also denied suggestions that he did not take a pay cut as reported

RTÉ PRESENTER RYAN Tubridy has said he should have asked questions about a discrepancy between his earnings and what the national broadcaster said he was being paid.

Tubridy said yesterday that the matter was one for RTÉ, but in a further statement today he apologised for failing to interrogate the discrepancy.

He said: “RTÉ’s accounting treatment and publication of payments to me between 2017 and 2022 contained serious errors.

“While I have no responsibility for the corporate governance in RTÉ or how or what they publish in their accounts, when my earnings were published I should have asked questions at the time and sought answers as to the circumstances which resulted in incorrect figures being published.

I didn’t and I bear responsibility for my failure to do so. For this, I unreservedly apologise.

Tubridy said all his earnings from RTÉ were at all times included in his companies accounts, prepared by his accountant and filed with the Companies Registration Office.

He added: “All my taxes are up to date. My filed accounts with details of these earnings have previously been reported on in the media.”

He continued: “At the centre of all of this is trust. The trust of colleagues in RTE and the trust of a great many people who listen to my show.

“To them: I wholeheartedly apologise for my error of judgement.”

Tubridy announced his departure from The Late Late Show earlier this year, but said in his statement that the two developments were not linked. 

He also confirmed that he has been told that he will not be presenting his RTÉ Radio One show next week.

“I also wish to respond to suggestions that this issue had some bearing on my decision to step down from hosting the Late Late Show. It did not,” the presenter said today. 

“Finally, I am disappointed that RTÉ has decided that for editorial reasons I should not broadcast my radio show next week. I look forward to returning to the radio show, a job I love, as soon as possible and I hope my listeners and my colleagues appreciate my sincerity on this.”

Speaking on RTÉ’s Six One News this evening, the broadcaster’s interim deputy director general Adrian Lynch would not say when Tubridy would return to the airwaves.

When asked why Tubridy was pulled from his radio slot today, Lynch said: “RTÉ as a public service media organisation cannot have an individual on air who is at the centre of a public controversy.

“We have obligations to be independent and objective. So you can’t do a show where it opens up with ‘what it says in the papers’ where you’re at the centre of that story.”

Pay cut

Tubridy also said in his statement: “Separately, it has been reported that I did not take a pay cut over the last number of years. This is simply not true.

“Over the period of my contract with RTE, I have been asked to take several reductions in salary and I did. Indeed, between 2012 and today, my pay from RTE was cut by approximately 40%.

The ongoing controversy arose after it was revealed yesterday that hat RTÉ’s highest-paid star  earned an extra €345,000 over the course of over six years than RTÉ had previously disclosed.

Tubridy’s annual earnings published by RTÉ between the years 2017-2022 ranged from €440,000-€491,667 but a review carried out by Grant Thornton has found that his annual earnings from RTÉ in those years actually ranged from €511,667-€545,000.

The issue was the result of a deal which saw Tubridy receive additional income from commercial partner Renault, with that income guaranteed and underwritten by RTÉ.

The manner in which these payments were recorded led to an understatement of his earnings, with RTÉ apologising for the mistake. 

The discrepancy was revealed following an external audit by Grant Thornton carried out in March of this year.

- With reporting by Rónán Duffy

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