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Top Editors Leave as Nation Media Group Lays Off 180 Employees

A senior editor has already announced his exit while two others are in talk with management for a similar deal

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Nation Media Group has begun parting ways with an estimated 180 employees in a rationalization process that is being described as shocking. Already, Bernard Mwinzi, a senior editor of the Nation newspaper division, has announced his exit from Nation Centre effective 14th June, while two more senior editors are expected to follow suit, according to someone familiar with NMG operations.

Mr Mwinzi, who was the managing editor (Content Hubs), is a surprise exit as he had been positioned as a key figure in the NMG editorial pecking order. His situation could offer a feel of how the entire retrenchment will be, with management perhaps targeting the big fish.

“The management of Nation Media Group and I have agreed to a cordial parting of ways,” Mr Mwinzi said in his exit note seen by Business Today. “My last working day will be June 14, 2024, after which I will start the formal process of exiting this great company.”

Two senior newspaper editors are set to exit any time, leaving key newspaper positions up for grabs for those who will be lucky to survive. This comes on a day that NTV management held a meeting with staff to prepare them for the restructuring process.

> With Sh205 Million Loss, Nation Media is Facing Tougher Options

Nation Media Group, reeling from a Sh205.7 million loss in 2023, appears to have decided to make more painful cuts to save costs and save itself from sinking further into the red.

The sacking of 180 employees will cut across department but it is in editorial section, the home of journalism, where the pain will be felt most as journalists form the bulk of the company’s payroll. Nation Media management says it is doing this to survive in the digital environment even as the price of newsprint, a weak shilling and rising costs gnaw at its revenues.

NMG Layoffs
The cost of newsprint has been rising over the past decade.

NMG CEO, Mr Stephen Gitagama, says the job cuts are part of a plan, announced two years ago, to transition away from traditional media and focus solely on digital productions across its leading news publications, among them, the Daily Nation, Business Daily Africa, The East African and television network NTV.

“As you are aware, the media landscape is undergoing rapid transformation: Changes in audience consumption habits, technology, and other macroeconomic factors have disrupted business models across the world,” Mr Gitagama wrote in the memo. “We at the Nation Media Group have also faced challenges as a result of reduced earnings from traditional platforms occasioned by these unprecedented disruptions.”

More employees are expected to get their exit letters between now and Friday 14th July 2024.

> Battle for Miss Earth Kenya Crown Narrows Down to 18 Ladies

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BT Reporter
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