There have been 'significant' reductions in the top salaries at RTÉ over the last decade.
That's according to Willie O'Reilly, former Group Commercial Director at the State broadcaster.
He was speaking after RTÉ released its top 10 earners list for 2021.
It is made up of seven men and three women, with 'The Late, Late Show' host Ryan Tubridy the highest-paid at €440,000.
Mr O'Reilly told Newstalk Breakfast the salaries are much smaller than they used to be.
"We all know the top one is the presenter of the Late, Late Show - which is Ryan Tubridy," he said.
"There have been significant changes there.
"I went back and I looked at his salary 10 years ago - in 2013, he was on €723,000.
"That's a cut of almost 40%. In that 10 years, there's been wage inflation as well of, maybe, 1% to 2%, so add that up.
"In real terms, his pay is less than half of what it was 10 years ago."
When it was put to him that a salary of €723,000 is an 'astronomical' benchmark, he said: "All these people are the top talent in that area that they are - whether it's entertainment or journalism.
"If they were lawyers or top doctors, they would be getting commensurate amounts of money - that's the way it goes.
"We also have to remember they all bring significant advertising revenue to RTÉ, so there is a commercial aspect to it as well.
"I don't want to be to the judge on it, but the point I was making is it has changed".
'A lot of roadkill in RTÉ'
Mr O'Reilly acknowledged that those who may have sinking ratings are not moved on.
"I accept that point, but there's a lot of roadkill in RTÉ as well.
"People who come and stay for five years, and then they disappear and you wonder where they are."
He also pointed to more women in the top 10 than a decade ago.
"Still not enough I'd say, it should be 50%, but there's progress there.
"I think if you look to the future [and] ask yourself: 'Are we not far away from a day where it'll be a female presenter of the Late, Late Show?'" he added.
The top 10 earners in RTÉ are:
- Ryan Tubridy | €440,000
- Joe Duffy | €351,000
- Claire Byrne | €350,000
- Ray Darcy |€305,000
- Miriam O’Callaghan | €263,000
- Brendan O’Connor | €245,004
- Bryan Dobson | €209,282
- Mary Wilson | €196,961
- Darragh Maloney | €183,738
- George Lee | €179,131