WHY IS Ryan Tubridy still on Irish airwaves?
It’s clear he wants to work more at the BBC in London, and it’s clear that more and more of us are switching off his ailing 2fm show.
Is it not time then for the 37-year-old to spare us all the embarrassment, bite the bullet, and quit RTE?
As the months pass there appears to be less and less for him in Montrose – in marked contrast to his ongoing good fortune at BBC Radio 2.
It’s now emerged that Tubridy is set to cover for Chris Evans on Radio 2’s breakfast programme for a number of weeks during the summer.
This follows on from a successful stint filling from Graham Norton last year. He makes his debut in the Evans’ slot on Monday.
As Ryan practices his Queen’s English this weekend he’ll also be digesting the latest listenship figures in his other, fulltime job.
His 2fm show has lost a further 4,000 listeners, according to the latest survey.
He’s managed to reduce Gerry Ryan’s 300,000 daily listeners to 172,000 in just two years – a calamitous ‘achievement’.
While we can only ponder what the late G Ryan would make of such a collapse we can safely say that Tubridy’s radio bosses at RTE must be seriously considering whether he can remain in a 2fm morning post.
Unfortunately things are little better for Tubridy in his second RTE job.
The faltering Late Late Show has provided an ongoing headache for all involved in it.
To be fair the rot there preceded Tubridy’s takeover at the helm. Nonetheless figures for the first show of the current season saw him down 182,000 viewers on the same show of the previous season.
On foot of these numbers it’s clear Tubridy can’t do two jobs successfully at once – so how is going to attempt three?
Why then doesn’t Tubridy make the leap across the Irish Sea?
One reason may be the amount he is paid by our national broadcaster – it was recently reported that he received pay totalling €519,000 from RTE in 2009 alone. A paycheck of this order would be difficult for anyone to turn down – even when the much-heralded stars’ paycuts are applied.
Questions persist of course as to whether Tubridy, or any Irish broadcaster for that matter, is worth upwards half a million euro a year.
Perhaps Britain’s taxpayers can foot such a bill – because we simply can’t afford to.
Which begs the question would Tubridy be paid anywhere near his Irish paycheck by the BBC? It’s very, very unlikely.
If he opts to remain in Ireland (despite his summer slot he has consistently denied he’s planning a fulltime move to the BBC) his future may well lie outside broadcasting.
Because even his staunchest supporters in RTE must now realise that he cannot remain in plum positions indefinitely while haemorrhaging viewers.
So it’s over to you Ryan.
This post first appeared in the Evening Herald, May 4, 2012.