So, see you Ryan. We've had some good times, some laughs, some good natured patronising, you will be missed. Apologies if I'm jumping the gun here, but I just assumed Tubridy will be one of the much loved presenters to walk from RTE for getting a pay cut. You know, what with the BBC currently looking for a dapper Terry Wogan/Henry Kelly hybrid to fill the gaping void, and he does fit the bill perfectly. The ones presumably not being handed such opportunities - the Montrose dinosaurs for want of a better term - will just have to take the cut on the chin, as it were. Or just take early bleedin' retirement and let some one else have a go.
The Independent today reports that "RTE's top-earning stars were bluntly told last night: take salary cuts or go elsewhere to work." Why, but there is nowhere else?! Director General Noel Curran informed the likes of Tubridy, Plant Kenny, Joe 'I've finally gotten round to giving out about that Savage Eye sketch in time to promote me knew autobiography' Duuuuuffaaayy, and Marian 'I do four hours of live radio a week' Finucane.
Speaking at Dublin City University, Mr Curran, who earns €250k a year, said: "We may, during this process of renegotiation lose some of our most talented and loved presenters to our competitors (um, TV3?). That would be very regrettable, but if some choose to leave, we will adjust, find new voices and new ways to deliver services and programmes." Well, hallelujah.
The article continues: "By 2008 pay levels, a cut of 30pc in Pat Kenny's would mean a drop from €950, 976 to €665, 683... Under the plan Marian Finucane's €570,000 pay cheque in 2008 would fall to €399,000." For four hours of live radio a week... I know of broadcasters who've worked four hours of live radio a day, produced all of their own work, and won multiple PPI Awards, for a microscopic fraction of that...
"Ryan Tubridy is believed to make significantly more than the €533,333 he hearned in 2008, given he now presents the Late Late Show. The scheme would cut Joe Duffy's €408,889 salary to some €286,000... RTE have long justified paying its top performers what were (quite rightly) perceived to be exorbitant salaries on the basis that it had to pay its talent competitive rates."
Compared to where exactly? Compared to what other establishment in this country? Or compared to the BBC? You see, the thing with the Beeb is that they broadcast to a land mass populated by approximately 62million, not including the Republic of Ireland. Whereas, RTE are broadcasting to approximately 4million people. Not quite as many licence payers here...
To quote Ireland AM's Mark Cagney this morning, while reading out the newspaper headlines: "On a personal note, welcome to the real world guys."