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NMG overhauls its newsroom after layoff

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[dropcap]N[/dropcap]ation Media Group (NMG) has overhauled its editorial team and made changes it says are geared at accelerating its transition to digital-first media house, but which largely realigns roles after the recent layoff that pushed out a number of journalists, including editors.

In the changes, a number of editors have been redeployed in what is seen as breaking fiefdoms in the newsroom and creating an environment where skills can best used in a complimentary manner.

“The structure should also provide the necessary focus for us to deliver on the other key NMG strategic pillar – to protect and grow existing business,” says NMG Editor-in-Chief Tom Mshindi in an internal circular to all employees.

The newsdesk has a new head of content, Peter Munaita, who moves from The East African weekly newspaper to replace Tim Wanyonyi. In the recent restructuring, the newsdesk was overhauled with the previous team of Bernard Namunane, Tim Wanyonyi and Njeri Rugene being pushed out, possibly due to a fallout over the last elections coverage.

Another notable change is the creation of “Finishing Hubs” whose key role will be to deliver powerful researched stories that will be unique to the various platforms. This desk will be led by veteran journalist John Kamau.

At NTV, Pamela Asigi has been appointed as Editor to replace Emmanuel Juma, who left in the retrenchment.

The Business Daily has not affected by these changes.

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Management wishes to make the following staff changes/appointments as part of its reorganisation to execute the strategy to sustain and accelerate the momentum towards fully entrenching processes for a mobile-first, digitally aligned 360-degree content company.

The structure should also provide the necessary focus for us to deliver on the other key NMG strategic pillar – to protect and grow existing business. Great progress has been made in the past one year but it is imperative that the pace is accelerated and the focus intensified throughout the department.

Peter Ngare, who has been the Editorial Manager, takes over as Editor, Taifa. Pamela Asigi takes over as Editor, NTV reporting into the Editor-in-Chief.

Catherine Wanyama is appointed the Editorial Administration Manager, while Mwiti Marete becomes the Op-Ed Editor

Peter Munaita takes over as the Head of Content, with the key responsibility of delivering high quality content first for online consumers and then reworking this with other editors for use in other platforms.

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Dave Opiyo will work at the Content Desk as Assignments Editor reporting into the Head of Content. Kariuki Waihenya is appointed Head of Production. Assisted by the DN Chief Sub-Editor, they will lead a pool of all senior sub-editors and sub-editors, and organize schedules to ensure that the daily production work on all the pages produced across the Group is executed efficiently.

Julius Sigei moves to Sunday Nation as an Associate Editor to work with the Editor, while Bernard Mwinzi is redeployed as Associate Editor (Daily Nation) and Francis Wanyonyi becomes Associate Editor (Saturday Nation). They will have substantive roles to work with editors to originate, supervise and plan the publications to consistently achieve differentiated products with a Day 2 character.

SEE: Royal Media sacks top radio editors in fresh restructuring

Both the Online and Print platforms will have Finishing Hubs whose key deliverables will be powerful researched stories that will be unique to the platforms. They will ensure that we give value to our readers who, in the present circumstances, have a lot of the breaking news; event driven stories.

For Print, the current investigative desk will evolve into the Finishing Hub and will be coordinated by John Kamau. For Online, the Newsplex Desk will be strengthened to play this role and it will be coordinated by Dorothy Otieno.

These changes take effect on February 1, 2018.

Tom Mshindi


READ: Nation Media Group board on the spot over sacked managers standoff

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