Word from the Twin Towers is out that finally Linus Gitahi has informed the Nation Media board that he is leaving by December. With the search for his replacement very much on, Linus is not going to be missed by many of his colleagues at NMG. He wasn’t a team player nor did he do much to better the lives of the many who sacrificed themselves for the biggest media house in East and Central Africa.
The balance sheet of NMG is great and shareholders are happy but beyond the Daily Nation and Sunday Nation, NMG has no other market leader with NTV struggling behind Citizen and KTN and its radio stations nowhere near the top. Daily Nation is a market leader and NMG is making huge profits above what was seen during the reign of Kiboro. With newspaper readership so much in decline, shareholders wants a CEO who will look beyond the Daily Nation.
The replacement of Linus will have to work hard to realise that with all the resources at Nation and Standard Groups, they have not managed to contain Wachira Waruru’s ingenuity at Royal Media. NMG’s reaction to The Nairobian (Nairobi News) and The Star (Daily Metro) all flopped despite the media house having all the money.
K24 learnt the hard way that money is not all a media house need for success. Having poached over 34 employees and almost crippled Citizen TV, they never got to poach the eyeballs as Citizen has still maintained the top position while K24 has trailed it.
Linus Gitahi is set to leave in December with Tom Mshindi being the front runner as his replacement. But the Agha Khan and other ethnic chauvinists at NMG might overlook Mshindi just like they overlooked Evans Kidero after the departure of Wilfred Kiboro. Mshindi was brought to understudy Linus. But strong indications from the board indicate that he is not the automatic replacement.
Nation Media has also failed to find a replacement for Ian Fernades who resigned as MD Broadcast after being poached by Mediamax to become the CEO.
Linus is said to be headed to run his many businesses including the Tropikal Brands (Africa) Limited
NMG employees are tired.