Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) Board of Directors has appointed Samuel Maina as acting Managing Director. In the changes announced by Board Chairperson Eng. Benjamin K. Maingi on Friday, Mr Maina, who currently serves as Editor-In-Chief, will take over from Dr Naim Bilal whose contract expired on the 19th March, 2022.
“To ensure continuity and smooth running of the Corporation, the Board of Directors held a Special Board meeting today 25th March, 2022 and appointed Mr Samuel Maina to the position of Ag. Managing Director with immediate effect,” Eng. Maingi said in a memo to staff. Naim Bilal was appointed by ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru in March 2019 on a three-year contract, taking take over from Waithaka Waihenya, who left in 2017.
Dr Bilal, a former bureau chief, news editor and head of TV at Nation Media Group, faced the tough task of turning around the public broadcaster’s fortunes amid financial challenges. In 2016, Auditor General Edward Ouko declared KBC technically insolvent. A notable achievement is the relaunch of KBC which included re-incorporation of legendary broadcasters as installing of new studios.
According to KBC Chairman, Mr Maina will hold the position of the Ag. MD until the post is substantively filled through a competitive process. “On behalf of the board, join me in congratulating the Ag. Managing Director, Mr Samuel Maina for the appointment as we wish him the very best in the new role,” the chairman said.
He urged all members of staff to accord Mr Maina full support and cooperation for efficient and effective delivery of services. At the same time, Eng. Maingi thanked Dr Bilal on behalf of the Board and KBC fraternity for his services to the public broadcaster.
The appointment in acting capacity has thrown the race for KBC MD open as the board is expected to competitively headhunt for a new boss. Mr Maina, a KBC insider who worked at K24, is expected to be among the front-runners for the position. He has been eyeing the MD position but missed out when Bilal was picked to succeed Waithaka. Will he be lucky this time round?
With a transition election just months away, the MD is likely to be picked under the new government, which might complicate the game for Mr Maina if the new regime will want to impose their choice. Mr Maina, though, has been credited with transforming the KBC newsroom by pushing for new studios, crafting new content strategy and building talent.
Recent history of KBC appointment sort of favours Maina. The two previous MDs – Waithaka Waihenya and Naim Bilal – were journalists. If that’s any guide, Mr Maina has half the ground work done for the position.
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