herald

Wednesday 21 November 2018

It was about a change, not the cash, insists Pat

Pat Kenny. Photo: Mark Condren
Pat Kenny. Photo: Mark Condren

PAT Kenny has denied his decision to leave RTE for Newstalk was down to money.

"I had two offers on the table. The money was not the over-riding factor at all.

"RTE made me a very generous offer, but I weighed it up. I discussed it with the family," he said in an interview with Newstalk.

"They kind of detected the enthusiasm I had for fundamental change.

"I could have just cruised along but I am someone who likes to surprise myself sometimes.

Contract

"I hope to bring the skills, the enthusiasm, the curiosity I have already brought to my radio show," he continued.

"I really feel it's time to have a go. If I was ever going to do it, now is the time."

He begins his new position on September 2 in the 10am to 12.30 slot currently hosted by Tom Dunne.

RTE boss Noel Curran said the national broadcaster simply could not compete with what Newstalk was offering.

"I don't want to go into the ins and outs of contract negotiations," he said.

"We are looking for reductions in presenters' fees.

"There was another offer on the table and we couldn't match it. We couldn't come to an agreement.

"We have adopted a new approach regarding presenters' salaries.

"We made Pat an offer and that was as far as we felt we could go. We wanted Pat to stay but we couldn't reach an agreement."

Newstalk's station editor, Garrett Harte, said Pat's signing is a milestone for the station.

"Pat Kenny's arrival marks a significant milestone for Newstalk and reflects our long-term commitment to the development of independent radio in Ireland," he said.

Pat's departure will cause a radical revising of RTE Radio 1's autumn schedule.

It will also be a loss for the Prime Time TV team.

Co-host Miriam O'Callaghan says she has learnt greatly from Pat and will miss him on set.

"Pat is an incredibly talented broadcaster and has shown all of us current affairs presenters how it is done," she said.

"His depth of knowledge on virtually every subject on earth, combined with a logical inquiring mind, makes him a superb broadcast journalist.

"On a professional level, I respect him enormously and I loved my time working with him on Prime Time."

Coup

"On the much more personal level, he was always a great, loyal, generous and fun colleague.

"I will miss him greatly."

Gay Byrne has described his decision as a great loss for RTE.

"I think Pat going is a major loss for RTE, but also a major coup for Newstalk", the 78-year-old said.

"He's never been better; he's never been as much on the ball as he has lately.

"They're getting a terrific broadcaster on Newstalk."

hnews@herald.ie

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