Standard Weekend Managing Editor Dennis Galava has quit, just five months after joining Standard Group in what was billed as a big catch for the media house.
Business Today understands that Mr Galava, who has been reforming the weekend editions, will be leaving after relaunching the weekend editions this week. He is set to join a global wildlife conservation foundation, in mid-April, where he will be in charge of media relations and advocacy director.
Mr Galava joined in November last year the Standard after acrimoniously being pushed out by Nation Media Group for publishing a scathing editorial against President Uhuru Kenyatta. He is seen as an independent and daring editor with strong sources in various fields. During his tenure at Standard, Mr Galava had improved content by publishing more investigative and human interest features, lifting circulation from a low of 50,000 to upwards of 70,000.
Standard sources on Mombasa Road say Editorial Director Joseph Odindo, who hired Galava few months after Nation sacked him, has requested him to stay on until the weekend editions are relaunched. Standard will begin rolling out its new-look from Wednesday 29th March 2017, which will climax with the Saturday and Sunday Standard at the weekend.
When Nation pushed him out, it looked like his fate has been sealed. But the exit from Nation Centre appears to have been a harbinger for bigger things. Besides the wildlife foundation job, Mr Galava is said to be considering another offer by the United Nations as an adviser in the peace-keeping department in New York.
Standard appeared to have provided a soft landing for Galava after being disgraced by the Nation. With the public and social media backing, including international media, Mr Galava came out as hero who was being persecuted for saying the truth. Standard must be ruing hiring him as he now leaves a huge gap that may distabilise the weekend editions at the critical time of the relaunch and when the election is barely five months away.
Leaves huge gap
He has published some strong stories, including the Kenyatta family land ownership details based on a CIA report, which caused ripples at State House and two weekends ago, and the Kenya Power expose that detailed how the power utility company had given fake figures on electricity connections.
Insiders say Standard management is engaged in last-ditch efforts to convince him to stay but it appears that won’t yield much as “Galava has made up his mind.” It’s rare for a journalist to leave such a high-profile job for a consulting assignment and Business Today will be digging to find out what Galava may have seen and is running away from. John Bundotich is likely to take over from him.