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RTÉ finally publishes list of highest-paid presenters for 2017 – 2019

RTÉ has finally published the fees earned by its highest-paid presenters in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

The broadcaster hasn’t shared such figures since December 2018, when figures dating back to 2016 were released.

Alongside the figures published today, RTÉ confirmed that fees paid to its highest-paid presenters were reduced by 15% in 2020, as part of cost-cutting measures.

Once again, Ryan Tubridy topped the list with earnings of almost €1.5million between 2017 – 2019.

According to the latest figures, the Late Late Show host was paid €491,667 in 2017, €495k in 2018, and €495k in 2019.

Ryan Tubridy | Andres Poveda

Ray D’Arcy was second on the list with an annual wage of €450,000, and Joe Duffy was named the third highest-paid presenter.

The Liveline host earned €398,738 in 2017, €404,988 in 2018, and €392,494 in 2019.

Sean O’Rourke, who retired in 2020, also received a hefty salary between 2017 – 2019.

The RTÉ Radio 1 host earned €321,071 in 2017, €325,263 in 2018, and €327,988 in 2019.

Only four women appeared in the top 10 list – including Miriam O’Callaghan, Claire Byrne, Mary Wilson, and the late Marian Finucane.

Marian, who passed away last January, was fifth on the list with earnings of €314,809 in 2017, €333,013 in 2018, and €358,013 in 2019.

Miriam O’Callaghan was the sixth highest-paid presenter, recording a significant boost in earnings between 2017 – 2019.

The Primetime host earned €299k in 2017, before her wage jumped to €322,667 in 2018, and €320k in 2019.


Claire Byrne, who was seventh on the list, also recorded a boost in earnings over the three years.

The RTÉ star earned €240k in 2017, before her salary jumped to €250k in 2018 and 2019.

Mary Wilson didn’t appear in the top 10 between 2017 – 2018, but she was named the 10th highest-paid presenter in 2019 with a salary of €196,961.

RTÉ commentator George Hamilton was the eighth highest-paid presenter in 2017 with earnings of €191,496, but he was replaced by Brendan O’Connor in 2018 with a salary of €240k.

The new figures also revealed that Nicky Byrne was RTÉ’s 10th highest-paid presenter in 2017, with a salary of €182,400.

The Westlife star started hosting Dancing with the Stars in 2017 alongside Amanda Byram, before she was replaced by Jennifer Zamparelli in 2018.


RTÉ Director-General, Dee Forbes, commented: “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.”

“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 In that context, we continue to keep the fees of our highest-paid presenters under constant review.”


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