The Nation Media Group has made new appointments that point to a new structure of operation, even as it continues to lay off more staff to create space for a shift to a digital-first company.
Among the latest changes is that of Clifford Machoka, who was appointed as the Head of External Affairs and Marketing, with effect from 7th July, 2020. Machoka has been with NMG for the last four years as Head of Corporate & Regulatory Affairs, driving the company’s regulatory and reputation management strategies.
Machoka is expected to play a key role in the Group’s digital transformation agenda in this expanded role of Head of External Affairs and Marketing.
He will take charge of leading the brand’s marketing strategies, events management, and commercialization of the group’s products as well as drive its strategic regulatory and reputation management, corporate communications, and sustainability, according to an internal circular.
Machoka joined NMG in January 2016 from British American Tobacco (BAT) where he served in several senior roles in corporate and regulatory affairs responsible for various countries including Indian Ocean Islands (Mauritius, La Reunion, Comoros), Rwanda, Uganda, Horn of Africa (Ethiopia, Somali/Somali Land, Eritrea, South Sudan, and Djibouti) and Kenya.
He has experience in trade bloc management with emphasis on WTO, EAC, COMESA & AU, regulatory affairs management including general and tax policy formulation, corporate communications, media, reputation, and stakeholder management.
Clifford Machoka is a lawyer by training, has an LLM, Globalization and Law (International Law) from Maastricht University, Netherlands and B.A, LL.B (Hons) degree from NALSAR University of Law, India.
Clifford’s appointment came on the day Nation Media Group CEO Stephen Gitagama announced changes with a new reporting structure and other redeployments. The new officeholders are seen as the dream team on the management side expected to steer NMG through its digital transformation and grow revenues.
NEW REPORTING STRUCTURE
James Sogoti, General Manager Commercial, will report to Group CEO
George Kihuria, Head of Circulation & Distribution, will report to Group Finance Director
Peter Sawe, Production Manager, will report to Group Finance Director
Jamleck Kuria, Dispatch and Logistics Manager, will report to Head of Circulation & Distribution.
Shelmith Kamau, TAG Team Leader, will report to General Manager Commercial. TAG is NMG’s digital marketing agency.
Nina Gakundi, Digital Business Manager, will report to General Manager Commercial.
Mitchel Aguko, Content Manager SKIZA, will report to Project Manager, Innovation.
Amos Muturi, E-paper Business Executive, will report to Project Manager, Innovation.
Fredrick Kirui, Sales Manager, Lit Music, will report to Commercial Manager Broadcasting.
Olivia Otieno, Product Lead, PISHI, will report to Head of Broadcasting.
Jane Muiruri will have delegated authority for Head of Human Resources, reporting to Group CEO.
Mercy Kimani will have delegated authority for IT Manager, reporting to Group Finance Director.
NMG is walking a rough path as revenues and profitability drop due to the Covid-19 pandemic and a general drop in advertising caused by changes in media consumption. The company shocked analysts and media watchers when it issued a profit warning.
NMG’s earnings have been on a steady downfall over the past four years. Last year, 2019, the group recorded a 23% drop in profit before tax to Ksh1.3 billion from Ksh1.6 billion in 2018.
The downward spiral started after it hit a peak in 2014, recording Ksh3.6 billion profit before tax. The following year, in 2015, profitability dropped to Ksh2.8 billion, then Ksh2.46 billion in 2016, Ksh1.95 billion in 2017, and accelerating further to Ksh1.63 billion in 2018 and Ksh1.3 billion.
Gitagama hopes his new army of managers can be able to not only pilot the company out of the current Covid-19 turbulence but, more importantly, grow and stabilize its revenues going forward. The struggle is also to restore NMG’s storied brand in the regional media industry.