Pat Kenny says RTÉ 'ruined' Ryan Tubridy's reputation with 'avoidable mess'
"Because Ryan had left, in their eyes he had lost value."
Speaking to the Irish Independent, the 75-year-old pulled no punches when it came to what he thought of his former employers, who he left 10 years ago.
Kenny said that the scandal which rocked the national broadcaster, stemming from the discrepancy in Tubridy's salary, would never had happened if the host didn't leave his hosting duties beforehand.
"He would have been too valuable an asset to RTÉ. But because Ryan had left, in their eyes he had lost value. He was more disposable."
He went on to criticise how RTÉ got the numbers wrong "with all the accountancy and audits."
"And then they came out with excuses that didn’t make sense. And in the process they effectively ruined Ryan’s reputation. Some would say Noel Kelly’s too. I have no doubt Noel was damaged by what they did."
Kenny described the saga in full as "an avoidable mess" where RTÉ "have hurt their own income".
Pat Kenny criticises RTÉ after summer scandal
Kenny left RTÉ in 2013, before taking up hosting duties at broadcasting rivals Newstalk, where he has had his own radio show.
Despite spending over 40 years of his career at the national broadcaster, Kenny claims there is a better working atmosphere at Newstalk.
"There’s a fundamental respect for on-air talent in Newstalk. I think my opinion is valued more in Newstalk. I’ll give you an example: I’ve had colleagues in RTÉ ask me for references for jobs within RTÉ. Not once did any of the people who were interviewing the candidates — not once — did they approach me and ask to talk about the candidate. Not once."
On the topic of Noel Kelly, the agent he shares with Tubridy and a multitude of other talent within the industry, Kenny said there is a need for agents to fight the corner of presenters.
"In my time in RTÉ, you’d go in and try to make a case for yourself and you’d be put down. They would tell me 'you’re always replaceable'. That attitude prevailed among some management. So that’s why we need an agent"
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