The Standard Group management has appointed John Bundoditch as the managing editor for the newspaper’s weekend editions. Bundotich has been managing editor in charge of magazines and special projects.
The appointment, which was is yet to be announced internally but has been confirmed by a senior editorial manager at Standard, ends the concerted search for an editor for the Saturday and Sunday editions.
The position was left vacant after the short stint of Denis Galava, who served just six months before exiting in unclear circumstances. According to insiders Fred Waga, who has been acting as weekend ME, could resume his deputy managing editor position for the weekend or end up swapping places with Bundotich.
This s a big win for Bundotich, who was once the group’s chief editor, but was forced to take a few steps down to create room for Joseph Odindo, who was appointed editorial director late 2015.
The media house recently advertised the weekend managing editor’s post, sparking speculation that it was angling for an outsider to take over. Yet strategically, it appears to make good sense to have an insider heading the newspaper with just a few weeks to the August 8th elections.
But then Bundotich takes over at a critical moment for Standard Weekend. First it’s just a few months after the relaunch, with the weekend struggling with getting compelling content to back up the redesign and additional sections.
Galava had lifted the weekend edition with investigative and highly provocative content, raising circulation by 25%, internal figures show. But he left after falling out with senior management due to his r*****l approach to journalism, which “kind of scared the board.”
Second, a general election is just a whisker away and the media house is keen to have an editor who will protect its interests both politically and commercially.