When it comes to corporates poaching from media houses, it’s often been business journalists on target. But the rise in sports betting appears to have turned the focus on sports desks in media houses.
Last month leading betting company in Kenya, SportPesa, raided Royal Media Services and took its radio sports editor Mutwiri Mutuota, one of the best sports writers in the industry.
Building a strong defence
Late last year, it snapped up Radio Africa Group Business Editor Lola Okulo, who now works as senior content editor. The Sports betting company, which opened operations in Tanzania recently, now has three high-profile journalists on its payroll including Dan Ngulu poached from soka.co.ke a flagship of Soka Holdings Ltd that also owns Soka Magazine, where he was a sub-editor. Prior to joining Soka he worked at futaa.com as a
SportPesa has a team of five writers, becoming the first corporate in Kenya with dedicated content writers. The team churns out copy for media inform of press releases for the SportPesa website.
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From a skeleton team last year, the company is building a fully-fledged communications and media relations department. And with its expansion into Tanzania and Spanish league La Liga, it is expected to expand its team in content and public relations, with the main target being media houses and PR agencies.
Below is Mutwiri Mutuota’s emotional goodbye mail to his colleagues at Royal Media
MUTWIRI MUTUOTA: OFFICIAL ‘LEFT’ STATEMENT
After agonising for three days on how best to say goodbye (for now) to the Royal Media Services family, words have failed me.
My last engagement at Communications Centre was on Friday morning during the interviews for the incoming Sports Editor (Radio) and since then, I’ve struggled to put together what amounts to a farewell message.
But from tomorrow, Monday April 10, 2017, another chapter in my professional life starts but it feels surreal I’ve left a team that has meant much more to me than working colleagues.
I’m so blessed to have been offered the chance to lead the radio sports team – a collection of talented individuals, most celebrities in their own right- into one of the most vibrant arms of the expansive RMS platforms.
Besides fortifying our news and programme content, the sports section of Citizen Digital has become the gold standard in the country where we are often imitated but never duplicated in and the challenge going forward is to sustain and improve on what has been achieved.
To the team I was entrusted to lead, all I can say is thank you for everything we have achieved together and I trust that you will scale greater heights than we hit.
At times, it was not easy since it was a period that stretched me to the limits of my abilities but in the end, I will never forget the kind words you offered me.
To Mike, Ndong and the Proper One Waihiga, I will never forget how we worked together to break earth shaking stories during the course of my tenure and may the Almighty God bless you abundantly.
To the Citizen Digital team, kindly keep PUSHING sports stuff to no end, but not this message. You guys rocked and the online and social media traction our content gained should be guarded jealously.
To the management team including and not limited to Farida, Fred, Rose, Oposh and Robin, I couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you for the overwhelming support and for giving me the great opportunity to serve in the largest media house in the region.
To my fellow Editors and section heads among them Bosire, Karanja, Christine, Otani, Kimeli, Bonyo, Man, Ruks, Yusuf, Joel, Koome, Joy, Nixon etc…. Maji Maji kama kawaida, it doesn’t stop.
To all Head of Radios, keep up the cordial relationship and thank you all for your support and embracing the objectives we wanted to achieve in sport.
To the rest of my colleagues, asanteni sana, Mola awabariki for making me a better human being.