Analysis

TV Industry Shakeup Looms as Top Editors Set for a Shuffle From Citizen to KTN, it's a surprising turn of events

Linus Kaikai joins KTN www.businessstoday.co.ke
Royal Media Services Strategy and Innovations Director is said to be on his way to KTN. [ Photo / Kenya Today ]

Another shake-up of the television industry is looming, as high ranking editors are expected to change positions. According to information, the latest changes will affect Citizen TV, KTN and K24.

Already, at K24, Peter Opondo who was Mediamax Network Ltd editor-in-chief overseeing TV and radio, has left. Mr Opondo is reportedly headed back to Royal Media Services, which runs Citizen TV, two years after joining Mediamax.

Leading lay-offs

Opondo’s return is likely to ruffle feathers in the top editorial leadership at RMS led by Joe Ageyo and Linus Kaikai. After joining Mediamax in April 2018, Opondo was tasked with cleaning the newspaper section of cartels that used to siphon revenues through fake contributions.

He recently oversaw a lay-off at Mediamax Network in which over 160 employees were fired, mainly from the TV and radio departments. Earlier at RMS, working as an editorial consultant, he led lay-offs of senior presenters and head-hunted top talent from rivals.

Now, according to insiders, he returns to clean house for a media house teaming with star talent. RMS has been feeling the financial pains of maintaining a star-studded team, which blows millions of shillings every month in salaries and allowances. The stars at RMS include Jeff Koinange, Linus Kaikai, Joy Ageyo, Victoria Rubadiri and Yvonne Okwaro, among others, all poached from rival stations few years ago.

Word has it that RMS Editorial Director Joy Ageyo may have to give way for Opondo in the new scheme of things. It will be interesting how things work out or if, as it’s being rumoured, Ageyo will quit.

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It is understood Kaikai, who joined RMS in as strategy and innovations director in 2018 from NTV has reached a deal to rejoin KTN. Kaikai left KTN in 2009 where he served as Managing Editor in charge of Quality and Product Development to join NTV as its head.

He left NTV in February 2018 after a protracted battle with Nation Media Group’s top management over handling of the mock swearing-in of NASA leader Raila Odinga.

It is not yet clear what position he is destined for at KTN, but his arrival will rock the boat. First he will have to take up someone’s job, if not powers, and retune the KTN team, which is emerging from a bruising talent war that forced it to build a new team of anchors from scratch.

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KTN editorial department is currently headed by Ellen Wanjiru as Managing Editor for broadcast, while Joe Munene is the managing director. Kaikai, who could take up either of these positions are get one created for him, could move with the News Gang programme which he initiated at Citizen TV.

At the beginning of the year, there were rumours that former Citizen TV news anchor Hussein Mohamed would be joining KTN in a senior position but it seems the plan was either delayed or halted altogether.

KTN is looking at strengthening its team after reaching a surprise deal to partner with K24, its rival, on news and programming.

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