DSM Place, the Mediamax Network Ltd, headquarters along Kijabe Street, Nairobi.

Mediamax Ltd, the publisher of the free People Daily news paper, has restructured its top editorial leadership roles to accommodate a senior editor brought on board early this month.

According to an internal communication released by the Group Managing Director Ian Fernandes, the role of editor-in-chief, previously held by Peter Opondo, has been split into two: print and television/digital.

Opondo, who made a comeback last year from Royal Media Services, loses some of his functions as he becomes the group head of television and digital, while Eric Obino, the former weekend editor at Nation newspapers, takes the position of group editor-in-chief in charge of print products. Obino reported today at DSM Place, the head offices of Mediamax.

“Opondo will hence forth oversee broadcast news, programming and production departments for both K24 and Kameme TV,” says Mr Farnandes in a circular obtained by Business Today.

Besides, Opondo will be in charge on the digital division which will focus on online generation and distribution of news, information and entertainment content as well as online marketing and social media interactivity.

Mediamax Ltd is owned by President Uhuru Kenyatta’s family, his Deputy William Ruto and other private investors including Equity Bank group CEO James Mwangi.

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Meanwhile, as Group Editor in Chief for print, Obino, is taxed with “streamlining People Daily processes and ramping up content affinity,” which is another way of saying cleaning up house for the newspaper and creating compelling content for readers.

The new appointments have left out radio division, raising speculation there could be a new signup coming on board. The company has a number of radio stations, including Milele FM and Kameme FM.

A seasoned and experienced print editor, Obino has nearly two decades of top editorial leadership, all of it acquired at Nation Media Group, where he worked for both weekend and daily editions.

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He rose to the position of executive editor of the weekend editions at Nation newspapers, before he was pushed out after publishing an article on sugar importation that rubbed the NMG management and board the wrong way.  Before that he had served as group head of production for all the Nation titles.

At People Daily, Obino has his work clearly cut out. First, he’s going to deal with a newspaper that’s given out for free yet still struggling to find a footing in a segment in which it is, ironically, the only player. Also, he finds himself on the side of political interests believed to have had a hand in pushing him out of Nation Centre.

It will be interesting to see how Obino manages investigative content especially touching on areas that the principal shareholders have interest.

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