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NTV Sets the Pace For Nation Media Group Layoff

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NTV last evening appeared to be raring to go in the planned staff rationalisation at the Nation Media Group (NMG). Kenya’s leading media company on 7th June issued a notice of retrenchment of some of its employees in the latest wave of job cuts in the media industry.

The NMG management says this is part of a plan, announced two years ago, to transition from traditional media to digital productions across its leading news platforms, among them, the Daily Nation, Business Daily Africa, The East African and NTV, the flagship of its broadcasting division.

Yesterday, a memo sent out to NTV staff for a meeting today morning touched off feelings of anxiety, sending chills in a newsroom already buffeted by fears from the Friday memo issued by the NMG CEO Stephen Gitagama.

While the NTV meeting invite was short on details, the implications, coming in the wake of layoff talk, are grave. The NTV leadership is expected to give a hint on how the layoff will go down and how it will affect operations.

> NMG to Sack Over 100 Employees in Latest Round of Layoff

“Dear Colleagues,” Ms Sonia Gakuru, NMG administration coordinator, writes in the internal memo, “You are invited for a TV and Newsroom meeting on Tuesday 11th June at 8.30am on 3rd floor. For Nation Centre staff, the meeting will be held in-person (physical). Regional staff will join via webinar….”

Like the Friday NMG staff meeting, the NTV gathering is expected to be stormy as staff seek answers and direction in a media house that appears to have converted staff cuts into a business strategy.

For over five years, NMG management has used the shift to digital operations to justify its annual staff cuts, pointing to a struggling outfit unable to click with fast-changing media consumption trends.

Nation Media Group, listed at the Nairobi Securities Exchange, has found itself in the thick of things with profitability consistently dropping over the last few years, forcing it to issue profit warnings for two years running. This is the trend in media, with other players, including listed Standard Group Ltd, facing similar situations.

Nearly all major media houses have laid off staff in the last one year and the NMG has raised the spectre of job losses for this year. Other media houses are expected to announce their restructuring programmes in due course.

> The Highs and Lows of Radio Personality Shaffie Weru

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BT Correspondent
BT Correspondenthttp://www.businesstoday.co.ke
editor [at] businesstoday.co.ke
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