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Nation Media Group to Lay Off Hundreds of Workers

The cuts will be the latest in a series of severe cutbacks that the company has endured in recent years.

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Executives at Nation Media Group (NMG) are planning to lay off several hundred of its more than 1,000 employees over the next week, the latest in a wave of sharp job cuts in the media industry this month.

Stephen Gitagama, NMG’s CEO, said in an internal note that the job cuts were part of a plan, announced two years ago, to transition away from traditional media and focus solely on digital productions across its leading news publications, among them, the Daily Nation, Business Daily Africa, The EastAfrican and television network NTV.

“As you are aware, the media landscape is undergoing rapid transformation: Changes in audience consumption habits, technology, and other macroeconomic factors have disrupted business models across the world,” Mr Gitagama wrote in the memo.
“We at the Nation Media Group have also faced challenges as a result of reduced earnings from traditional platforms occasioned by these unprecedented disruptions.”

Mr Gitagama added: “In order to reap the benefits of the new digital dispensation, we must accelerate that transformation. We must evolve into a leaner and more agile company that will innovate at pace and drive the efficient delivery of services to our customers. This will, unfortunately, necessitate a workforce reduction effective Friday, June 14, 2024.”

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The cuts will be the latest in a series of severe cutbacks that the company has endured in recent years, and they come amid gale-force headwinds for the entire media industry in Kenya.

Just in April this year, it was hinted that NMG would lay off 600 of its workers, including journalists, citing economic pressures.

And in September of 2023, its rival multi-media organization Standard Group PLC announced the mass sacking of employees in what it said was also a restructuring process to digital media, and, also, due to harsh economic conditions.

Before the memo announcing the recent retrenchment plan by NMG was released, there was a stormy meeting of the staff, which forced the company to affirm that the affected employees would be provided with exit benefits as stipulated by the Kenyan labour laws.

Also, they will get other benefits, including psychosocial support and relocation assistance for those stationed outside Nairobi.

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JUSTUS KIPRONOhttp://www.businesstoday.co.ke
Justus Kiprono is a freelance journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya. He tracks Capital Markets and economic trends, infrastructure reform, government spending, and the financial impacts of state decision-making nationwide. You can reach him: [email protected]
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