Citizen TV has recalled a senior editor sacked last year during the Royal Media Services restructuring. Patrick Mathangani, who was the News Editor for TV, has been rehired to head a News Extra, a news section the television station has introduced. The series of news bulletins, which started today, will be running daily between 9 and 2pm.
Mathanganihad been laid off alongside more than 20 other journalists and TV presenters including Terryanne Chebet, Abdi Osman and Kirigo Ng’arwa. It is understood that since the restructuring, which offloaded over 100 employees across the departments, left editorial understaffed. Editors are currently reeling under a heavy load of work and the TV station has lately been having quality issues in content, with glaring mistakes getting to the screen.
“The few editors who remained are having it rough,” said an editor at Royal Media Services attached to Citizen TV. “The work is too much. They are overwhelmed.”
Mathangani becomes the second senior editor to be recalled. Content Manager Mercy Oburu’s sacking was revoked just a week after being fired with the intervention of Royal Media Services founder and chairman S.K. Macharia. Some insiders at Citizen TV said that the company may have found it ‘too expensive’ to sack her having worked for the media house for many years. But Mercy, a former Editor in Chief at Royal Media, is a cancer survivor and S.K. Macharia recalled her on compassion grounds.
Citizen’s News Extra will rival KTN’s Morning Express and NewsDesk, which provide news updates from morning to about 3pm. Aside from creating a platform for reporting early and mid-morning news, which is often stale by evening, the morning-to-afternoon news segment usually accommodates overflow from the previous evening news bulletin.
With campaigns for the August 2017 elections getting into high gear, a lot will be happening around the country and expanding the news segment will become unavoidable for broadcasters. Media houses that over-zealously fired reliable journalists in a cost-cutting craze are beginning to feel their absence. Standard newspaper has sought the services of writers Geoffrey Mosoku, who was laid off in 2015, and Alphonce Shiundi, who resigned last year. Such recalls are expected to heighten as elections draw closer.
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