National Media Group (NMG) has announced plans to relaunch its Swahili TV station, QTV, in what marks yet another move by CEO Stephen Gitagama to regenerate the media house, which scaled down operations three years ago.
NMG Board chairman Wilfred Kiboro said the media house now has adequate resources going into the future and more innovative products are on the way. QTV presently airs NTV content on pay TV channels.
“We want to re-launch it as a standalone television channel…we are very optimistic about this group’s future given the resources we have at our disposal and the innovation we have seen among our young people,” Kiboro told shareholders at the 56th Annual General Meeting last Friday.
QTV was shut down alongside Nation FM and QFM in Kenya as well as KFM in Rwanda in what NMG said was part of a strategy to transform the company into a modern 21st century digital content company.
The move rendered more than 100 journalists and other personnel redundant with observers opining then newly-appointed CEO Joseph Muganda was out to impress his bosses at a time media business was taking a plunge.
QTV was merged with NTV “to create a stronger multi-lingual channel.”
Other watchers said the closure was part of then Managing Editor Linus Kaikai’s long-term plan, which saw him hire Jamila Mohammed to be in charge of the Swahili station.
Despite closing the radio stations, the media house, however, continued to maintain a live signal and online presence.
It is, however, not clear how NMG plans to remodel QTV to enable it make a mark in the congested TV scene in the country.
When it was launched in April 2012, the aim was to target the low-end of the TV viewership market, which is now effectively served by various digital stations, including vernacular ones.
It is the second time NMG is reviving a former platform following the relaunch of Nation FM in June last year with radio star Fareed Khimani as the only presenter. He, however, recently moved to Capital FM.