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PAT KENNY has left RTÉ to join Newstalk as presenter of its mid-morning current affairs show.
The move sees Kenny end a 41-year career with the national broadcaster having joined RTÉ in 1972.
Among the shows he presented during his time with RTÉ radio and television were Today with Pat Kenny, The Late Late Show, Kenny Live, Frontline and Today Tonight.
His departure follows a breakdown in contract negotiations which have been on-going for several months.
Kenny’s salary with RTÉ was €630,000 in 2011, €729,604 in 2009 and €950,976 in 2008.
Newstalk said Mr Kenny would be on air from 2 September.
Speaking following the announcement, RTÉ director general Noel Curran paid tribute to Mr Kenny’s contribution to public service broadcasting, describing him as a “versatile and popular broadcaster.”
He added: “Pat Kenny’s contract with RTÉ expired earlier this year and we have been aware for some time that he had an offer from commercial radio.
“Through lengthy negotiations every effort was made to retain Pat’s services but unfortunately we could not come to an agreement.”
In a statement, Pat Kenny said: “Like many of my colleagues, I have always regarded Newstalk as a valuable source of news and comment.
“I am delighted to have the opportunity to contribute to the growth of Newstalk and to be part of a new team where, hopefully, my experience will also add value.
“I am relishing the challenge ahead and looking forward to a new chapter in my career, with the world of independent broadcasting, helping to develop Newstalk into the talk radio of choice for listeners countrywide.”
Newstalk Station Editor Garrett Harte said: “Pat Kenny’s arrival marks a significant milestone for Newstalk and reflects our long-term commitment to the development of independent radio, in Ireland.”