Former NTV anchor Mark Masai has announced plans to set up his own podcast/digital show following his sacking by Nation Media Group (NMG). News of the presenter’s exit from the station was met with widespread surprise as he was one of the faces of the company, having been at NTV for 14 years.
Responding to a fan on Twitter who asked him to consider starting his own podcast, Masai on Wednesday, December 7 confirmed that he had already began the process in collaboration with a Nairobi-based podcast studio (SemaBox).
Masai wouldn’t be the first mainstream media journalist to move their work to the digital front while retaining ownership and editorial control. Former KTN reporter John-Allan Namu, for instance, left Standard Group to set up Africa Uncensored, an investigative reporting operation.
“Oh trust me bro. I am on it (starting a podcast),” Masai shared. He did not offer more details, such as the type of content the show would feature. Masai also announced that he would start a conversation on human resource (HR) practices in organizations, a pointer to intrigues that characterized his being pushed out of NMG.
“Let’s face it, a conversation needs to be had about HR & how operations can be managed better. Watch this space…” he wrote.
Masai was among several senior journalists pushed out of NMG in a far-reaching restructuring undertaken in the past month.
Political undertones surrounded the exit of Mutuma Mathiu as Group Editorial Director, with sources indicating that the Kenya Kwanza administration had a bone to pick with him over supposed bias against President William Ruto in NMG’s campaign coverage. The shake-up that followed saw senior editors and journalists perceived to be his ‘newsroom allies’ also pushed out.
At the same time, Kenyan media houses are struggling to keep up with shifting media consumption trends as print readership and TV viewership continue to decline in tandem with their ad revenues. Many of the traditional players are finding it difficult to develop sustainable revenue models around digital news platforms, with NMG yet to bring back their paywall as promised when they pulled it down ahead of the August elections.