Barely three months after leaving NTV, Larry Madowo has returned to Nation Media Group – this time round as an employer scouting for talent. Madowo, who left NTV in late March, was appointed BBC Africa Business Editor in on 1st April, a position that gives him a say in not just editorial content but also hiring of journalists.
After picking journalists from KTN, Citizen and K24, he had to end up at his former home. Now he has started off with poaching three journalists from NTV, the station he worked for many years, with sources saying more could follow. Those who have resigned from NTV and are now serving notice include business anchor and reporter Hudheifa Aden, Mombasa-based reporter Peter Mwangangi and seasoned producer Maureen Nyukuri.
Maureen is said to have produced the live interview of Deputy President William Ruto on NTV on Sunday night. Hudheifa and Mwangangi are joining BBC as multimedia journalists, meaning they will cut across broadcast and digital for its converged newsroom. Mwangangi had worked for NTV for four years.
The interesting pick in the group is Hudheifa, who had been at NTV for three years, rising from reporter to anchor. A trained lawyer, Hudheifa had become the embodiment of the future NTV and management had started grooming him for bigger things.
The board, in fact, used him as master of ceremony on April 18th at the investor briefing when NMG released its financial results, with the chairman, Wilfred Kiboro, pointing out that the recent staff exits that had hit NTV had created room for “young people like Hudheifa.”
Inside sources at NTV say the human resources office was caught off guard when the up-and-coming presenter put in his resignation. “Aden was considered the future of NTV,” said an official at NTV. He has been anchoring business and at times the main news.
Incidentally, Hudheifa was recommended for hiring at NTV by Larry Madowo whose offer, it seems, the young journalist found hard to resist.
For Madowo, it is some kind of payback time for NTV, which pushed him out for his outspokenness. His troubles at Nation Centre started when he told off then CEO Joe Muganda at a January 2017 staff communication meeting, accusing management of not protecting journalists strongly enough from government subjugation.
Soon after the heated exchange, which took the intervention of editor in chief Tom Mshindi to calm down, Madowo’s column #FrontRow in the Daily Nation was stopped and his appearance on TV was cut down.
His raid in Nation is another blow for NTV, coming even before it recovers from the exodus of journalists to Citizen TV instigated by former NTV general manager Linus Kaikai, who was also pushed out of NMG. Kaikai avenged his exit by moving on with a number of senior journalists including NTV editor Pamela Asigi, Kiswahili anchors Jamila Mohamed, Rashid Abdallah and Nimrod Taabu as well as reporter Enoch Sikolia and news anchor Victoria Rubadiri, among others.