herald

Wednesday 18 October 2017

'Unhappy' Pat drawn by big cash says Gaybo

Gay Byrne (right) and Pat Kenny. Photo: Michael Chester
Gay Byrne (right) and Pat Kenny. Photo: Michael Chester

Broadcast legend Gay Byrne said Pat Kenny's departure from RTE was motivated by "downright unhappiness".

Kenny announced his departure from RTE after 41 years last week.

And his former colleague Gay Byrne believes that "big money" was involved in the move.

It is reported that a representative for Pat approached Newstalk as early as last May to set up talks.

This came after RTE reportedly refused Pat's demands for essentially two contracts: TV and radio.

It's understood that Pat wanted €585,000 a year and his own TV show, as well as his Prime Time salary.

Pat was RTE's second-highest paid broadcaster in 2011, earning €630,000.

But Gay, who now presents on Lyric FM, said that the writing was on the wall.

"It came as a surprise to me, but not that big of a surprise.

"I do know that the attitude to Pat and many of the others [at RTE] was offhand to say the least.

"I am well aware of an undercurrent of dissatisfaction, if not downright unhappiness, in his dealings with Montrose over the years."

 

Offer

While Kenny insisted his decision to leave RTE was not motivated by money, the Montrose station said it was unable to match Newstalk's offer.

It is thought that Pat will earn €400,00- €500,000 with Newstalk, hoping to add around €300,000 a year from sponsorship rights to his new show.

"This deal was made for big money," explained Gay.

Meanwhile, Late Late host Ryan Tubridy described the departure as "shocking and crazy".

However, the 40-year-old warned that RTE will have a job on its hands to restore morale.

An announcement regarding Pat Kenny's successor will not be made until August 29, when RTE launches its autumn schedule.

hnews@herald.ie

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