There is no longer any agreement between RTÉ and Ryan Tubridy that he will return a controversial €150,000 payment, according to Director General Kevin Bakhurst.
Mr Bakhurst announced yesterday RTÉ had decided to cease negotiations with Mr Tubridy regarding his return as “trust between the parties has broken down”.
On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, Mr Bakhurst said following a collapse in negotiations, he isn’t sure Mr Tubridy will return a €150,000 payment in connection with the controversial Renault deal.
“Part of the arrangement [for Ryan] to return was that he had agreed he would pay the €150,000 if he returned to us,” he said.
“There’s not an agreement now... It's now a matter for Ryan to make his own decision about that.”
Mr Tubridy issued a statement on Wednesday highlighting the fact the most recent report by Grant Thornton had found no wrongdoing on his part.
While a ‘core agreement’ was in place for the former Late Late Show host to return to his morning slot on Radio One on a salary of €170,000, Mr Bakhurst said “wider issues” could not be resolved.
“RTÉ rightly takes the majority of blame for what has happened in this shameful period," he said.
"But everybody involved needs to take the right amount of blame for their own actions and their teams around them.
“I couldn’t understand [Mr Tubridy’s] inability to accept the €75,000 that he got from RTÉ in the end were part of his overall reward for those two years.
“I don’t think he was correcting the record; he was going back to an old argument.”
Mr Bakhurst said building trust between RTÉ and its audience was essential in negotiations.
“[Ending negotiations] wasn’t a decision taken based on being infuriated, or annoyance or anger,” he said.
“This as a decision take given the circumstances and what was right for RTÉ and building back audiences.”
A return to RTÉ for Mr Tubridy is “unlikely in the immediate future”, according to Mr Bakhurst – but not impossible.
“I wouldn't rule anything out - he’s a very talented broadcaster and he has a connection with significant parts of the audience,” he said.
“He’s also got a lot of other interests in a lot of other areas we might be able to work with him on in the future.”
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