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21st Aug 2023

Ryan Tubridy’s exasperated five-word reply to RTÉ ending negotiations

The presenter was said to be “shocked and disappointed” by the decision.

The RTÉ and Ryan Tubridy drama hit new heights late last week as the national broadcaster performed a spectacular U-turn on the decision to bring back the presenter to the airwaves after talks broke down.

As it turned out, it was  Tubridy’s refusal to take some of the responsibility for the payments scandal that RTÉ took issue with.

Ryan Tubridy

Ryan Tubridy’s exasperated five-word reply to RTÉ ending negotiations.

In fact, it came down to a singular paragraph in Tubridy’s statement after the Grant Thornton review released last week that stopped dead any plans to bring him back to the air.

“It is also clear that my actual income from RTÉ in 2020 and 2021 matches what was originally published as my earnings for those years and RTÉ has not yet published its top ten earner details for 2022.”

The line proved contentious with the RTÉ board and the positive talks that had been ongoing for weeks suddenly stalled, with RTÉ director general Kevin Bakhurst announcing on Thursday evening that the presenter would not be returning to the broadcaster.

Speaking on Primetime over the weekend, Mr Bakhurst said: “The plan was to get him back on 4 September on to his show on Radio One.

“Also, part of the deal under discussion was about Ryan doing a podcast as well.”

He also stated that the salary agreement was for €170,000 per year.

When the decision was made and explained to Tubridy, the presenter was said to be “shocked and disappointed” by the change of heart, especially after a deal had seemingly been struck.

The presenter had been preparing to return to the airwaves on September 4 and, according to the Irish Independent, asked:

“Is there no way back?”

The belief on Tubridy’s side is reportedly that his “innocuous statement” was used as an excuse to end negotiations and not bring him back into the fold.

Speaking to Virgin Media News over the weekend, Bakhurst said he has already started discussions with the head of Radio 1 and the acting head of content at RTÉ about a replacement for Tubridy.

“Clearly Oliver Callan and Brendan Courtney have been doing a really good job in that slot,” he also stated.