The question of Ryan Tubridy’s pay has been much in the news lately.
Much of the commentary has been misconceived and wrongheaded and displays a remarkable ignorance of economics and financial probity.
Let’s take two examples which I heard yesterday alone.
The first was a woman on the radio with Claire Byrne bemoaning Tubridy’s fat salary to date and repeatedly pointing out that he was only doing a 1 hour show each day.
She seemed to think that measuring anyone’s salary should be by reference to how much work or how many hours work they do. This, if you think about it, is an absurd proposition.
If Tubridy’s show is only 1 hour long but it generates massive advertising revenue for RTE why would the length of the show relevant to anything? Surely the comparison should be between Tubridy’s salary and the income he generates for his hirer?
Or the outcome of the work? If a heart surgeon takes 20 minutes to save your life is it good value? Money well spent?
Would you be whingeing about his hourly rate of pay?
Secondly, I heard Emma O’Kelly talking on the Six One News about putting a cap on “these large salaries” in the public service.
This is another absurd proposition. RTE may provide a public service but must compete with private, commercial operators for advertising income.
Put a communist type cap on salaries of the top performers, in terms of revenue generation, in RTE and see how long the likes of Tubridy and Brendan O’Connor will stick around.
Sticking around would be perverse and irrational if private, commercial radio stations were offering them twice the salary.
It’s time to talk plain about Tubridy’s salary and why his, and others, appear to be “excessive”.
Compared to what? The advertising revenue they generate?
Some people need a good grounding in economics and finance before they pontificate before a microphone again.
P.S. How much advertising revenue did Tubridy’s radio generate in a year?
How much was his salary?
Then, make the comparison.