Twitter beat every Irish media outlet Friday in announcing the death of broadcaster Gerry Ryan.

John McMahon, the head of 2fm, said RTE delayed announcing the news out of respect for his family.

McMahon said many of Ryan's family and close personal friends did not know about his death although news had already broken on Twitter.

Indeed, one of Ryan's colleagues, Miriam O’Callaghan, confirmed his death in a tweet about an hour before RTE announced his death. She subsequently deleted the tweet.

McMahon said Ryan's family's wishes came first.

“We’d been advised by the family that there were certain very close members who had not been informed so RTÉ made the decision that we were not going to broadcast news on this. So we did hold off on it. We weren’t the first to break a story like this for the very valid reasons that his family and his close personal friends needed to be informed first,” he said.

“I know everyone has a hunger for news and other stations did mention it first, but we felt his immediate family had the right to have his dignity respected.”