[dropcap]S[/dropcap]omething fundamental could be happening at the Nation Media Group (NMG). In a relatively short span of time, the so called twin towers in Nairobi’s central business district have experienced another exit of its chief executive officer (CEO). Joe Muganda has resigned from the company for Vivo Energy, having served NMG for barely three quiet years.
Respected personality Wilfred Kiboro was NMG’s longest serving CEO. He started off as the managing director designate in 1993, and retired gracefully from the company in 2006. His tenure saw NMG transform and expand into one of the largest media houses in the region. Kiboro’s successor Linus Gitahi resigned in 2015 after what was rumoured to be a fallout of NMG with some powerful forces in government.
Indeed, it is instructive that none of these CEOs had previous media management experience on appointment. This would imply that their employer – the NMG board of directors – is basically focused on one thing; profit! Kiboro was recruited from Xerox Kenya, Gitahi left GlaxoSmithkline, while Muganda was at Kenya Breweries Limited.
So, where is politics coming in? I presume the position of CEO of the leading media house in the country is a hot seat. As an agenda setter, the powers that be must be closely and constantly monitoring and analysing the political editorial content of the group.
Consequently, the CEO cannot afford to show any political bias; which would mark Kiboro’s apparent success in running the media house by adeptly playing the different political forces.
While Kiboro steered the company successfully during the heydays of the clamour for multiparty politics, it is during the relative tranquility of Mwai Kibaki’s government that NMG was hit directly when First Lady Lucy stormed its offices over what she said was open bias, even malice, in its reporting. Gitahi was then the management honcho.
NMG needs to be very careful! Politics is a dirty game. Bigger empires in this country have been brought to ruin by stepping on the toes of some untouchables. Not that the media house should kowtow to the political class. Rather, it should be true to its mantra. Only The Truth will set the media house free!