Major changes are expected starting this month at Nation Media Group as Joe Muganda (current EABL MD) join the company from East Africa Breweries.
According to insiders, Linus Gitahi has already retired and the wait for a new CEO has ended after Joe Muganda accepted the offer. Muganda is expected to officially take up the NMG mantle in July but Linus is believed to be on his retirement mode.
Meanwhile, Linus Kaikai has been confirmed as the General Manager of NTV. But the GM Radio, Manwa Magoma, has reportedly resigned from the company for either a new assignment or further studies. Manwa’s replacement is not yet known.
Jamilla Mohammed has taken over as the Managing Editor at QTV while Tom Mshindi stays on as the Chief Operating Officer at NMG.
Prodded further the sources at NMG have intimated that Manwa might be headed for further studies in an Ivy League University in USA or he got some greener pastures elsewhere though the latter is only remotely possible.
Also expected are changes at NTV as viewership continue to tank. According to a senior producer at the station, programmes like Offside, Pendo, Mali, Visanga and Aunty Boss are being terminated as “the station cannot afford the local productions anymore.”
Programs like Pendo, Visanga and Aunty Boss cost NTV an upward of Ksh 300,000 per episode while Mali cost between Ksh 450 – 600,000 per episode. So NTV weirdly argue that it can do in-house production of copy cats of the shows they are terminating for not more than Ksh 10,000 per episode using own resources.
The station is also changing programming with The Trend already moved to 8PM – 9PM then 10PM – 11PM on Fridays. The station is reserving all weekdays 8PM to 10PM for current affairs. Mark Maasai’s Press Pass is being moved to between 8APM and 9PM. Victoria Rubadiri is expected to launch own show called Victoria’s Lounge as the station figure out what to introduce on Wednesday. Churchill Raw will stay on the Thursday 8PM to 10Pm slot.
But key influencers at NTV question the move to cut spending on entertainment programs (which have been its key revenue earner) and invest more on current affairs programs which it has never got right. NTV entertainment programs have sometimes as high as Citizens.
Key media honchos are amazed how KTN has remained authoritative in delivering current affairs content with mostly newbies while NTV with all resources availed to it has never won any meaningful eyeballs for its news and other current affairs programs.
NTV ranks lower than Citizen and KTN and after digital migration, it lost market reach from an average of 15% to just 8% while KTN rose from 9% to 14% and K24 from 4.5% to 10%. KTN’s news has seen tremendous growth while nobody delivers current affairs show like Jeff Koinange. He also has the best arrangement with KTN, only getting a commission when his content generates revenue from advertisement.
The demoralising NTV figures together with projected drop in NMG annual profits for are believed to be some of the reasons why Gerald Mahinda later rejected the NMG offer months after accepting it.
Gerald was also worried that NMG’s mainstay, Daily Nation, is losing print readership at a very high rate that any significant growth was not expected within the next 5 years. He demanded a higher salary in exchange for his signature as he realised how hard it might be to grow NMG in the near future. NTV’s mainstay are Larry Madowo’s The Trend (grossing Ksh 2million) and Churchill Show.
While Larry doesn’t get a cent above his salary at NMG, Churchill has a deal with NTV where he gets paid Ksh 1.2million per episode of Churchill Show and Churchill Raw. He doesn’t get any cut in advertising revenue generated by his shows.
NTV’s revenue declined by 60% between February and March while in April, the decline was 30% and is expected to stay that way for some time. Both KTN and K24 have seen growth in revenue after the digital migration fiasco. Their revenue have grown by an average of 25% and 20% respectively in the last 3 months.