122 RTÉ staff earn over €100,000 in 2019

Over 120 staff at RTÉ last year earned in excess of €100,000 in basic salary. New figures published by RTÉ show that of the 122, 24 earned between €150,000 and €250,000 with the remaining 98 between €100,000 to €150,000.

These figures don’t include RTÉ's top earners including the likes of Ryan Tubridy, Joe Duffy and Ray D’Arcy as they aret independent contractors and are paid through companies that they have established.

The 122 RTÉ staff members earning over €100,000 last year is a decline of four on the 126 in that earning bracket for 2018 but compares to 101 RTÉ staff members earning over €100,000 for 2015.

Last year, a further 170 RTE staff members earned between €80,000 and €100,000 and the new figures show that average pay at RTÉ last year totalled €60,713 - a marginal increase on the average salary of €60,518 for 2018.

Numbers employed at RTÉ increased last year from 1,822 to 1,831 with a spokesman for the broadcaster explaining on Friday: "As with any large organisation, small variations in headcount can occur, resulting from the timing of recruitments etc.”

The confirmation of the increase in numbers employed and the number of high earners at RTÉ coincides with a fresh warning over its finances.

In briefing documents prepared for the new Minister for Communications, Eamon Ryan by officials published on Friday, officials warn that “the finances of the national broadcaster are not sustainable and are undermining its capacity to remain relevant in an increasingly competitive and fragmented broadcasting sector while continuing to deliver on its statutory responsibilities as a public broadcaster”.

The briefing says “the Covid 19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the broadcasting sector with unprecedented cuts to the advertising market”.

“Adding to an already challenging funding environment, RTÉ’s revenues have decreased significantly as a result of the crisis, both in terms of its commercial revenues and licence fee funding.”

The officials state that “while the 2017 land sale provided some relief to RTÉ, allowing it to repay debt, fund severance schemes and undertake much needed capital investment, the underlying trends affecting RTE’s financial and commercial position remain”.

On Friday the spokesman for the broadcaster said: “RTÉ has been on a significant programme of cost reduction and reform since the beginning of the year as part of its Revised Strategy 2020-2024 which included a pay freeze across the organisation; a 10% reduction in Executive Board pay; a 15% reduction in top talent fees.”

“In addition, RTÉ recently announced a series of measures to help mitigate the impact of unforeseen income declines. These measures include: availing of the Government’s Covid-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme; ceasing of all but essential recruitment and contractual employment; 50% of staff annual leave to be used before end of June, where possible; cutting and/or deferral of productions (both independent commissions and in-house) affected by public health measures; deferral of all but essential capital expenditure.”