Kenyan journalist Soni Methu has revealed why she left CNN, where she hosted the Inside Africa features programme. Methu, who now works for the Nairobi-based CCTV Africa, says she left because the network changed its format such that the programme no longer needed a host, relying more on characters.
The network had also in April confirmed in a letter thanking her for the work she did on the show. In a response to questions posed by her fans, Methu said:
“I would start with the question that won’t go away, everyone is asking why did you leave CNN and where are you now. I would start by saying I didn’t leave CNN, it just happened that the show was moving more towards character-driven story telling as opposed to a host telling the story, There were various options presented to me but as opportunities would have it, I got an opportunity at CCTV Africa.”
“Please note that earlier this year, CNN Inside Africa moved to a new format without a presenter, with a greater focus on the stories we’re telling. We thank Soni for all of her work on the show and wish her the best for the future,” Engage BM, the public relations firm that handles CNN, had also earlier stated.
But it also emerged the Atlanta-based channel failed to renew her contract when it came up for review.
“Soni Methu, the host of the feature programme Inside Africa, is no longer with the network. When her contract went up for renewal, CNN passed on renewing it,” Allan, a blogger behind the CNN Commentary blog, wrote in February.
Some of her fans indicated they were angry and felt cheated by the move. “We feel cheated and very angry from what CNN did. The good news is that Soni Methu is now working for the CCTV Africa, which is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya,” a blog belonging to a Nigerian, oraifite.com, wrote in the aftermath of her departure.
An alumnus of Strathmore University, where she obtained a Diploma in Information Technology, Methu honed her career at the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation before joining South Africa’s eNCA as a correspondent. She also starred in the drama series ‘Hila’ and presented Taj Show, a talk show.
In 2014, she joined CNN as a correspondent based in Nairobi. Apart from hosting Inside Africa, Methu also made her debut as a correspondent with reportage on the Garissa University College attack by al Shabaab militants in which 147 students were killed.