Public service broadcaster Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ) has revealed its top 10 earners from 2017 to 2019, along with their total earnings each year.
Presenter Ryan Tubridy was the top earner all three years, as the current host of long-running television chat show The Late Late Show and a weekday morning radio show The Ryan Tubridy Show.
Mr Tubridy's production company Tuttle Productions Ltd brought in a total of €495,000 in 2019. As a contractor for the broadcaster rather than employee, Mr Tubridy's earnings represent fees paid excluding Value Added Tax (VAT), and he does not receive a salary or pension contribution.
In second place for all three years was Ray D'Arcy, host of daily radio show The Ray D’Arcy Show on weekdays and a Saturday night television show with the same title.
His production company What Next Productions Ltd was paid earnings of €450,000 in 2019.
In third place was Joe Duffy, host of RTÉ radio’s Liveline. The earnings of Mr Duffy’s company Cladaghgreen Ltd were €392,494 in 2019, down from €404,988 in 2018.
Fourth in the broadcaster’s list of top earners for 2018 and 2019 was Marian Finucane, whose company Montrose Services Ltd was paid €358,013 in 2019.
Ms Finucane presented The Marian Finucane Show on RTÉ radio until her death in January 2020.
RTE employee Sean O’Rourke took the fifth spot in 2019, down from fourth in the two years prior. In 2019, his salary and pension contribution combined to earnings of €327,988.
Sixth in 2019 earnings was Miriam O’Callaghan, who has presented the current affairs television programme Prime Time since 1996 for the broadcaster.
In 2019, Ms O’Callaghan’s company Baby Blue Productions Ltd took in earnings of €320,000 for her services.
Seventh from 2017 to 2019 was journalist Claire Byrne, host of a daily radio show and current affairs television programme on Monday nights.
Her company Derrough Media took in earnings of €250,000 in 2019.
Other top earners of the broadcaster from 2017 to 2019 include sports commentator George Hamilton, presenter Brendan O’Connor, newscaster Bryan Dobson and radio presenter Mary Wilson.
We continue to keep the fees of our highest-paid presenters under constant review
Director-General of RTÉ Dee Forbes said the broadcaster’s presenters make a “significant contribution” to public media in Ireland and enable RTÉ to optimise commercial revenue, which is “essential to support our public services”.
“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,” she said.
“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.
“In that context, we continue to keep the fees of our highest-paid presenters under constant review.”
The broadcaster said that it had reduced the earnings of its highest presenters by 15 per cent in 2020.
Total fees paid to RTÉ's highest earning presenters represent less than one per cent of the broadcaster’s total operating costs, it said.