Mediamax has announced new changes in its TV news management which include creation of new managing editor positions to boost quality and efficiency. Some editors at K24 television have been promoted while others have been redeployed in changes that have set the K24 newsroom abuzz.
The appointments were announced today in a memo by Mediamax chief executive Ian Fernandes. Fred Njiiri, who was assignment editor, has been appointed to the newly created position of Managing Editor K24.
Franklin Wambugu becomes the managing editor Kiswahili from head of news, while Boniface Mutakha has been given the managing editor position in charge of English. Mutakha was previously news editor and has been acting as TV editorial boss since the exit of Group Managing Editor Peter Opondo last year.
K24 has always relied on assignment editors as its key decision makers in the newsroom, all of whom reported to the Group Managing Editor. The CEO even thanks him a job well done. “He was acting managing editor after Peter Opondo was appointed GME during the launch of the free newspaper in June 2014,” said a K24 newsroom insider. “However, they have decided to hand it to Njiiri. No reasons for that, but the man has done a good job leading K24.”
Meanwhile, senior anchor Richard Kagoe is now head of anchors while Eugene Osidiana will be in charge of the camera unit. On the business desk, Tony Timase has been appointed Business Editor, replacing Solomin Kirimi who was retrenched in December last year, and will be deputized by Zawadi Mudibo, who joined three months ago as an anchor.
The appointments are hoped to lift K24 which has been stuggling to find its footing in the competitive TV market. It still ranks a distant fifth in viewership behind Citizen, KTN, NTV and KBC. It's said to have returned major losses to the tune of Ksh480M and its principal investors, including President Uhuru Kenyatta, recently pumped in Ksh3.9 billion.
The new structure effectively kills any hope of implementing the converged newsroom model at Mediamax, which was piloted for a few months late last year on recommendation of Indian consultants. Most newsrooms in Kenya are embracing convergence which promises lower operational costs and efficiency in news processing.
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