Nation Media Group Head of Content Tim Wanyonyi and newsdesk assignments editor Bernard Namunane are the latest victims of a major purge that is ongoing at Nation Centre. Mr Wanyonyi was until early last year the Managing Editor, Saturday Nation, before he was moved to the news desk in a similar restructuring that saw several staffers, including the then news editor.
Mr Wanyonti is also a former Quality Editor at the media house. Others in the editorial department who have been retrenched in the latest programme include NTV News Manager Emmanuel Juma, Saturday magazine editor Wayua Muli, Nakuru regional editor Caroline Wafula, NTV Swahili news anchor Lolani Kalu and NTV Head of Graphics Cromwel Onyango as well as NTV reporter Steve Mwei.
As Head of Content, Mr Wanyonyi, he was responsible for generation of content in a converged set up. All reporters and the news reporting teams reported to him.
According to the media house, the latest exercise is part of its continued restructuring to transform into a 21st century digital media house.
Mr Namunane is a Nation Centre veteran who has covered several beats including Parliament. He has also served as chief political reporter covering various watershed events in the country’s politics, proceedings at the International Criminal Court when it was seized of cases involving Kenyans alleged to have played key roles in the 2007/08 post-election violence, including President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto, as well as constitutional issues.
An alumni of the University of Birmingham, the International Institute of Journalism, Germany and the US visitors leadership program, he is among senior reporters who also sat on the news desk. He has been replaced on the news desk by reporter Dave Opiyo in an interim basis.
The retrenchment exercise is set to continue in the coming days though the newspaper division is overstretched in terms of person and hence unlikely to suffer any further radical shocks.
“We are so thinned out that if they are not careful, they may end up cutting the bones,” one reporter told Business Today in confidence.
Some staffers are even said to have written to the HR department complaining of burnout and more focus could thus shift to radio, digital and administration segments.
Ahead of last year’s retrenchment, outgoing CEO Joe Muganda had said focus was the final phase of the reorganisation to prioritise resources and investments in content development, monetisation and innovation in line with the emerging ways that new age consumers are consuming media.
However, the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE)-listed company is believed to have performed below targets despite creating new monetary streams in 2017 and hence the need for further restructuring.