Ryan Tubridy still being paid, but this is ‘next step’ to be resolved – RTE boss

RTE director general Kevin Bakhurst said that Ryan Tubridy is still being paid by the broadcaster and that negotiations on resolving that issue would be his “next step”.

Tubridy, who was the national broadcaster’s highest earner, has been off air since June 22 after a scandal emerged that RTE had understated his earnings from the period 2017 to 2022.

The stand-ins for his weekday morning radio programme have been satirist Oliver Callan and presenter Brendan Courtney.

Asked whether RTE would continue to pay Tubridy, Mr Bakhurst said: “We need to resolve that, that’s the next step now.”

He said that the dispute over whether Tubridy was still in contract after stepping down from the flagship TV chat show The Late Late Show in May was still unresolved.

RTE pay revelations
Director-general Kevin Bakhurst (Cillian Sherlock/PA)

He said: “Well, I think, as has been said before, he had that contract, which covered both the Late Late and his radio work.

“When he decided to leave The Late Late Show, clearly there was some discussion about whether he’d left that contract or not, and I don’t think there’s agreement on that,” he told RTE’s Morning Ireland.

“We continued to pay him because I thought it was a fair thing to do over that period, because we would normally pay someone over the summer and it was our decision to take him off air for a while.

“But we didn’t pay him at the level that they were seeking for him to be paid.”

He said that he did not discuss with Tubridy on Thursday whether he would still return 150,000 euro paid to him through a UK-based barter account for his involvement in events that have not yet taken place.

“I don’t expect him to repay it. I made it clear to him throughout that I felt, morally, it was the right thing to repay it.

“He had agreed as part of returning to RTE that he would repay it,” he said, adding that that now may change.

Mr Bakhurst said that discussions had begun within RTE about who would replace Tubridy, and said that audiences had reacted “warmly” to the substitute presenters for his former Radio One show.

Standing in for Tubridy on Friday morning, Courtney said it was “a little bit strange to be here” in front of the mic for the 9am programme, and said that “we all feel a bit discombobulated this morning”.