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Wednesday 7 December 2016

Ray D'Arcy's production company cuts losses to nearly €150,000

Ray D'Arcy
Ray D'Arcy

A MEDIA production company owned by one of RTE's highest-paid stars, Ray D'Arcy, reported accumulated losses of almost €150,000 last year, according to its latest accounts.

The 50-year-old radio presenter defected from Today FM to RTE last year for a reported salary of €500,000.

D'Arcy owns a 95pc stake in Whatnext Productions Limited, a media firm that was established in 2008.

The remaining 5pc of shares are held by D'Arcy's friend Darren Smith, who was best man at his wedding to producer Jenny Kelly in 2013.

reduction

Ms Kelly (43) has also been a director of the company since last December.

The firm recorded accumulated losses of €148,259 last year and saw its cash balance fall to only €300 from €17,146 during the same period.

However, this represents a reduction in losses since the end of the previous financial year to December 31, 2013, when the figure stood at €182,923.

The company's creditors were owed €158,459 at the end of last year, almost all of which related to taxes comprised of €65,056 in VAT and €88,385 in PAYE.

D'Arcy returned to RTE in February to take over Derek Mooney's 3pm RTE Radio 1 slot.

Earlier this year he played down suggestions that his salary was as high as €500,000, saying he actually took a pay cut when he returned to the state broadcaster.

"I'm getting paid less than I was," he said, but added: "I am very well paid. That's the nature of what I do."

D'Arcy's long-time Today FM producer Will Hanafin and Ms Kelly followed him to RTE.

At the time, D'Arcy claimed he felt like he was "returning home".

Since beginning his tenure on Radio 1, he has seen his listenership grow.

The most recent Joint National Listenership Research (JNLR) ratings saw his audience increase by 7,000 to 190,000 over the course of three months.

At the height of his broadcasting career on Today FM, D'Arcy was pulling in an average of 230,000 listeners, and RTE bosses are confident he will eventually attract the same audience numbers at Radio 1.

"I think in the next JNLRs we will get over the 200,000 mark," said Head of RTE Radio 1 Tom Maguire. "Ray is off to a great start and I think it is a positive sign of things to come."

D'Arcy will also front a new TV entertainment chat show on RTE 1 this autumn.

Pre-production for the programme will begin in the coming weeks.

It is believed it will be aimed at a younger demographic to that of the Late Late Show, with a strong emphasis on music.

The programme will replace Brendan O'Connor's Saturday Night Show.

During his previous 13-year spell at RTE, Kildare native D'Arcy presented a number of flagship programmes including The Den, the Rose of Tralee, Jo Maxi and Blackboard Jungle.

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