A former group commercial director at RTÉ has defended salaries to presenters at the State broadcaster.
Willie O'Reilly says they are dictated by advertiser and market demand.
It comes after the RTÉ revealed it paid its 10 highest earning broadcasters more than €3.2m last year.
Ryan Tubridy remains the highest paid presenter, earning €495,000 a year.
Ray D’Arcy, Joe Duffy, Sean O’Rourke and the late Marian Finucane complete the top five - earning between €358,000 and €450,000.
Willie O'Reilly told Newstalk Breakfast: "What these presenters bring to people's lives has to be categorised as well.
"For instance their box office, they're very well respected, they're trusted by the public, they're very experienced in the role".
"And more importantly, it's what the advertisers want.
"A 30-second commercial in the Late, Late Toy Show is €30,000 - so one hour of advertising in that show pays Ryan Tubridy's entire annual show [sic]."
Asked by presenter Shane Coleman if they were worth the money, he replied: "The answer to that simply is, in a commercial world we work in, the answer is yes".
But he said a lot has changed in the last decade or so.
"Let me take you back to 2008, when the presenter of the Late [Late] Show was almost on a million a year.
"They were heady times... and that was the pay in the day, so RTÉ has come some way in that period."
For context, he said: "Back in 2008, RTÉ was earning 100m a year more in commercial revenue than it is today".
"You need to cut your cloth to your measure, of course, but those people who bring you the commercial audiences are even more important in the difficult times".
He also said indications are the salaries for 2020, which have not been published, will be lower.