Former Citizen TV anchor Johnson Mwakazi has made a comeback after landing a job as the Head of TV 47, a new station which is set to go on air soon.
TV 47 is owned by Cape Media, a firm established by Mt Kenya University founder Prof Simon Gicharu. The company, which is managed by his son, Kevin, also plans to launch Beats 47 radio station after operating radio and TV stations in Rwanda for three years.
Since June, Cape Media has been recruiting staff ahead of the launch. Gicharu is said to have invested Ksh 500 million in the venture, financed by a local bank. In a previous interview, he told Business Today said he had closed Royal TV, his television station in Kigali, and moved it to Kenya.
The radio, Royal FM, is still operational and is the only radio station hosting breakfast show in English language in Rwanda and is ranked among the top three.
Sources at Cape Media said the station will focus on counties and corporates.
After leaving Citizen TV, Mwakazi joined WTV, which, however, shut down in December 2016. The station was owned by Foundation Media Group.
He has been the Director of The Royal Voice International, a media solutions company involved in media production, training, mentorship and conference moderation.
A graduate of Daystar University, he joined Citizen TV in April 2004 and worked for over eight years.
Cape Media will be the newest media house to join the industry in Kenya, jumping into a highly competitive market where many players are struggling to stay afloat. The advertising cake has been shrinking even as media houses increase, especially in TV where digital broadcasting has opened the space to more players.
Even main media houses like Nation Media Group and Standard Group are not sitting pretty, recording revenue drops over the past few years. Royal Media Services is dusting itself for battle while smaller players are veering on the brink of collapse.
But being a shrewd businessman, Kenyans will be waiting to see the kind of strategy Prof Gicharu will roll out for his media house.