From Sunday Independent:

Expert warns RTÉ that advertisers for The Late Late Show are ‘nervy’ over speculation

Failure to plan for Ryan Tubridy’s successor ‘has led to a PR disaster’

Ryan Tubridy is stepping down as Late Late host. Photo: RTÉ

Niamh Horan

One of Ireland’s leading advertising experts has warned RTÉ that major clients need reassurance over The Late Late Show brand.

Stuart Fogarty, CEO of Admatic, said advertisers will be “unnerved” by “toxic” conversations surrounding the show.

Mr Fogarty, a brand consultant and the former owner of McConnell’s ad agency, said brands and sponsors are becoming concerned at the length of time it is taking to find a suitable candidate to replace Ryan Tubridy as host of RTÉ’s flagship show.

“They should have moved on it [the presenter] earlier and because they didn’t it created toxic conversations. The Late Late Show has the biggest audience in the State, the adverts are the biggest earner for RTÉ,” he said.

“RTÉ should be looking after the show with care and attention. Brands and sponsors need reassurance that the show is in safe hands, it is being looked after, and it is going to hold the audience numbers and bring in higher numbers in the future.”​

Mr Fogarty said RTÉ could command around €11,000 for a 30-second spot during the Friday night show.

“Advertising money chases the audience so they need to get it right. The sponsor will want to know who is going to take over. They will want to be kept in the loop about a new presenter.”

RTÉ insiders have told the Sunday Independent there is anger at the broadcaster over how management handled the situation.

A source said staff are dismayed by the “failure of planning” for a presenter which has led to a “PR disaster” and “clickbait” speculation.

“They should have known this might have been coming for a long time and they should have had someone ready to go,” the source said.

“There is a feeling that they don’t have anyone lined up because, if they had, they would have announced it by now…But they will need to find and announce the new name before The Late Late Show team start work again at the end of July.”

An industry source who makes programmes for RTÉ reiterated the view that the media conversation has been a “PR disaster”.

They also said The Late Late Show was under review “in the most rigorous and robust way possible”.

“Whether it will end up the same show is anyone’s guess,” the source said.