Ryan Tubridy 'surprised' by RTÉ errors over his pay

Ryan Tubridy 'Surprised' By Rté Errors Over His Pay
The Late Late Show, © PA Media
Share this article

Updated: 7.15pm

Former Late Late Show presenter Ryan Tubridy has said he was surprised to learn of errors by RTÉ regrading his remuneration and issues surrounding separate payments made to him under a commercial deal.


Regarding the latter, the presenter received €150,000 from RTÉ in 2022, in addition to his reported annual remuneration.

The matter was the subject of an independent review carried out by Grant Thornton after the issue was raised in March, the findings of which have since been received by RTÉ's board and the audit and risk committee.

In a statement issued on Thursday afternoon, RTÉ confirmed the payments which prompted the investigation were separate from Mr Tubridy's annual remunerations, and were instead part of a deal in which the State broadcaster guaranteed the presenter an additional annual income of €75,000, "which was intended to come from a commercial partner".

RTÉ said Mr Tubridy received the first of these €75,000 payments from a commercial partner in July 2020, "in exchange for a number of personal appearances a year", with the broadcaster in turn issuing the commercial partner with a credit note, reducing the firm's sponsorship bill.


However, the commercial partner subsequently chose not to renew the deal, so, having guaranteed and unwritten the agreement, RTÉ said it instead made the payments directly to Mr Tubridy, via his agent.

RTÉ said it made two of these €75,000 payments, totalling €150,000, in respect of 2021 and 2022. Both of these payments were paid to Mr Tubridy in 2022, the broadcaster added.

The statment noted the two payments were included in RTÉ's barter account in 2022 for €115,380 each (€230,760 total), inclusive of fees incurred during the process.

Internal review

On receiving Grant Thornton's findings, RTÉ launched its own review into Mr Tubridy's remunerations, finding the amounts were understated by €120,000 over the three-year period spanning 2017-2019.


"The circumstances that led to this understatement by RTÉ are currently under examination," the statement added.

In light of these findings, RTÉ confirmed Mr Tubridy's annual remuneration was €545,000 in 2019 and €515,000 in 2021.

The statment added the board "considers the public misstating of RTÉ’s financial information to be a very serious matter and has moved as quickly as it could, once it had independently established the facts, to publish the correct figures".

A review of the broadcaster's top 10 highest-paid on-air presenters has also been conducted, finding that the cost of these contracts has been correctly reported, which Grant Thornton have now been tasked to validate in addition to the understatement of Mr Tubridy's earnings between 2017 and 2019.


'Profound regret'

"The board is committed to ensuring that there is appropriate accountability for what has occurred. That process is ongoing, mindful of individuals’ rights, and affording them due process," RTÉ added.

The broadcaster said the board's remuneration committee will now have full oversight and approval of the terms of contracts relating to the top 10 high-paid on-air presenters, and the barter account will be brought within the control of the finance function with specific controls being added regarding its operation.

"This is a matter of profound regret for the board of RTÉ," the board's chair Siún Ní Raghallaigh said.

"We are well aware that this is a serious breach of trust with the public. On behalf of the board, I wish to apologise for what has occurred."


"It is clear that RTÉ has fallen short of the high standards that it sets for itself and are expected of it.

"Once these issues came to light, we acted expeditiously to establish the facts and we are confident that the safeguards we have now put in place will ensure that nothing like this will happen again, and that good corporate governance is adhered to at all times," Ms Ní Raghallaigh added.

Following RTÉ's statement, Mr Tubridy said he "can't shed any light" on the discrepancies.

"Like many people, I’m surprised by the announcements made in RTE’s statement today regarding the errors in the reporting of its accounts.

"It is unfortunate that these errors are in relation to how RTÉ have reported payments made to me but I just want to be clear: this is a matter for RTÉ and I have no involvement in RTÉ’s internal accounting treatment or RTÉ’s public declarations in connection with such payments.

"Obviously, I’m disappointed to be at the centre of this story but unfortunately, I can’t shed any light on why RTE treated these payments in the way that they did, nor can I answer for their mistakes in this regard."

Mr Tubridy's management, NK Management, said RTÉ has "sole responsibility and accountability", adding: "There is no suggestion of any wrongdoing on the part of Ryan Tubridy or NK Management."

'Extremely concerned'

Minister for the Media Catherine Martin responded to the news, confirming she had been advised in March that the issue had been identified and was being reviewed.

"I am extremely concerned at the details which were contained in RTÉ’s statement today, on foot of that review being completed," the Minister said.

She added she has spoken with Ms Ní Raghallaigh and a meeting between the pair, along with officials from Ms Martin's department, has been scheduled for Monday to further discuss the issue.

"The public rightly expect much higher standards of transparency and accountability from Ireland’s Public Service Broadcaster. It is unacceptable that these have not been met.

"It will be critical for the Board to identify whether there are wider governance issues that need to be examined and addressed, and to ensure that there is appropriate accountability for what has occurred.

"It will be equally important for the Board to demonstrate that it is putting in place appropriate structures and processes to prevent a recurrence of a matter of this nature," the Minister said.

The chair of the Public Accounts Committee, Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley, has also called on RTÉ to come before the committee to answer questions relating to the issue.

Read More

Message submitting... Thank you for waiting.

Want us to email you top stories each lunch time?

Download our Apps
© BreakingNews.ie 2024, developed by Square1 and powered by PublisherPlus.com