Kenya’s only 24-hour news channel KTN News is set for a major revamp complete with a new look on Monday, November 29. The rebranding is part of a larger transformation strategy by Standard Group Plc which is also rolling out a converged newsroom strategy to focus on digital-first journalism.
It will be the first rebranding for KTN News which was launched in 2015. The revamping is also meant to position KTN News as the go-to source for political coverage with the 2022 General Elections only nine months away.
Not only will the rebranding introduce a fresh look for KTN News, but also new programming and fresh faces on-screen.
Intake Editor Kizito Namulanda disclosed in an interview that part of the plan was to expand political discourse to include the views of voters and other stakeholders as opposed to only shining a spotlight on politicians.
CEO Orlando Lyomu highlighted the converged newsroom strategy which will effectively see Standard’s platforms such as the Standard newspaper, KTN Home, KTN News, Radio Maisha and more operate in synergy. The plan has been dubbed ‘Project Eagle”.
He noted that the board and management began making changes to their business model in 2017 after observing shifting media consumption habits among other changes in the industry.
Lyomu noted that, since then, the company had introduced new TV and radio products in addition to revamping its newspapers and websites. The firm has notably been experimenting with paywalls on its flagship news site for the past year.
“What I can tell our audiences is to brace for a new era,” he told Abby Agina.
Namulanda also stated that new media talents would benefit from the revamping of KTN News even as the broadcaster brings in experienced names to strengthen its offering.
In recent times, big name anchors including Debarl Inea, Fred Indimuli and Ken Mijungu have joined KTN News in what has largely been perceived as preparation for 2022 election coverage.
“KTN is the home of talents. If you look at all the big names, they all came from here,” noted Namulanda while promising that fresh talent would shine on KTN News.
KTN News also plans to bolster its international coverage as part of the strategy. The magazine show Bottomline Africa, for instance, will become Africa Speaks – a daily continental magazine show between 2 pm and 3 pm.