The Standard Group has killed the Saturday Desk it created barely two years ago, we have established. This means the struggling weekend papers – Saturday and Sunday editions – will now be run by one desk, to be led by the Standard on Sunday Managing Editor Enock Wambua.
The merger was inevitable as the Sunday Desk only remained with two senior writers, Daniel Wesangula and Nzau Musau, following the exits of Oscar Obonyo and Juma Kwayera. Senior investigative writer Kipchumba Some is on sabbatical and is said to be heading to the United States for a two-month fellowship.
The production team is also a skeleton following the recent departure of Linet Atieno, who, reliable sources say, is poised to join rival, Sunday Nation. Mr Peter Choge, a sub-editor for the Sunday, also bid farewell to the company few weeks ago through voluntary early retirement.
The Standard on Saturday Managing Editor Charles Kimathi has in the meantime been ‘elevated’ from the Standard Group Centre’s second floor to the posh third floor where he will run the corporate affairs department. The new portfolio is not new to Mr Kimathi, who after leaving Nation Media Group’s The EastAfrican, joined Kenya Tea Development Authority as corporate communications manager.
It is, however, not clear who will be the new Weekend Desk’s News Editor. Biketi Kikechi has been handling the Sunday while Mwaniki Munuhe has been in charge of the Saturday one. Fingers point at the relatively experienced Mr Kikechi, whose voluntary early retirement was recently turned down by the management.
Meanwhile, the merger of the two desks could bring with it some challenges to some writers. The Saturday Desk was used to more reporting than analyzing, which is the forte for Sunday edition.