Ivan Yates rejects criticism of misogyny at Newstalk

The presenter has pointed to a number of women who hold senior editorial positions

Ivan Yates rejects criticism of misogyny at Newstalk

Ivan Yates in Newstalk | File photo

Newstalk presenter Ivan Yates has rejected claims the broadcaster is 'systemically sexist'.

The Hard Shoulder host has pointed to a number of women who hold senior editorial positions in the company, and he added that "the next Claire Byrne will happen on this station".

Mr Yates said he has sympathy and sadness for his colleague George Hook, who was today suspended from Newstalk after becoming embroiled in a controversy over comments he made on his show about Rape.

A disciplinary process regarding those comments is ongoing.

Ivan Yates said both he and Newstalk repudiate and condemn the remarks made by George Hook and he acknowledged that Mr Hook made a full apology on Monday.

Speaking on The Hard Shoulder, Mr Yates said: "First of all, what George said last Friday was wrong.

"I fully, and the station, fully repudiates it and unambiguously and without any equivocation condemn the remarks.

"His apology in my opinion was abject and even grovelling, and in my view sincere."

"I do want to address the issue that Newstalk is systemically sexist - that is not my experience."

"The managing editor - my ultimate boss - is a woman, the chairperson of Communicorp is a woman, the head of news is a woman.

"There are 11 producers in Newstalk, 10 of them are women."

"And in relation to women on air, can I say this: Newstalk is a victim of one thing, and it's at every level.

"I had a great producer, Rebecca Meehan, on Newstalk Breakfast and she was head-hunted to go to produce Liveline for Joe Duffy.

"The same with Samantha Barry - she's now on CNN - she started in Newstalk; Laura Whitmore - ITV/MTV - she started here.

"Ciara O'Riordan, BBC, Ciara Doherty from Donegal on TV3, Catriona Perry from Washington nowadays, RTÉ, all started in Newstalk.

"Hardly the culture of an organisation that's systemically sexist.

"Maybe the reality is it becomes a training ground for people to go on to bigger and better things".