Mediamax Networks, the media house owned by President Uhuru Kenyatta’s family, is set to launch a new TV station next month. Kameme TV, which has been on the cards since last year, will finally go live in February broadcasting in Kikuyu language, widely spoken in Nairobi, Central Kenya and some parts of Rift valley.
Ms Caroline Mwangi (Bobo) has been appointed the managing editor of the new TV station. Insiders are, however, are questioning the thinking behind launching a new TV station into an already saturated market instead of improving K24, which has been struggling to make a mark in the news media due to limited funding and talent.
K24 has been running mainly on interns since the company retrenched some of its presenters late 2015. K24 trails other TV stations in its category such as Citizen, KTN, NTV and KTN News.
“It would have made more sense to use the funds to spruce up K24, get it more experienced staff and generally improve its positioning,” said a media observer in Nairobi.
Kameme TV will take on established brands in the Kikuyu language TV market including Inooro TV owned by Royal Media Services and Njata TV among others. Kikuyu is the largest community in Kenya and has some of the richest people in the country and thus a big attraction for media and advertisers.
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However, the timing of the launch ahead of the elections could mean President Uhuru Kenyatta would want to use the vernacular TV as a campaign mouth piece targeting Kikuyu voters, some of whom feel disenfranchised under his first term. The president’s family is said to have poured hundreds of millions in preparing content for the vernacular TV station, with most of the productions being done at Riverwood in Nairobi.