On the night of Friday May 30, 2020, Betty Kyalo’s fans were caught off guard when she announced her resignation from K24 TV, a station owned by President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Mediamax Company.
Though there were reports of mass firing in the media house, no one expected Betty to resign that night including her cameramen and close workmates, according to co-worker and radio presenter Felix Odiwuor alias Jalang’o.
In a YouTube interview with Jalang’o, Betty says that she was not fired, but felt that the media house was not appreciating her enough.
“I wan’t fired. I’ve worked so hard to be my brand. I have built my brand with hard work, passion, commitment, and love. When I feel like I’m not being appreciated enough najitoa (I leave),” she said.
Despite admitting that she is one of the best paid journalists in the station and in Kenya, Betty said that she had no clarity working for the media house.
“It is not always about money. There is so much to look up for. You want to be appreciated, you want to be supported, you want to be given clarity, you want to know that no matter what this organisation loves me and they will take care of my brand and they will push me, they will challenge me and they want me to be better. That’s even bigger than money,” she said.
“Sometimes peace of mind is better,” she added.
On whether that was the end for her TV career, Betty said that she is going to make a comeback without going to the specifics.
“TV is my home. I’m gonna be on TV very soon. I have been on TV for eight years but I feel like I have so much to offer. Whenever I am on TV I give joy to the viewers. It is bigger than Betty. However I want to build Betty Kyalo as a brand (to be) better than it is now,” she added.
Before resigning, Betty had hinted about her exit in an Instagram post, asking her fans to watch ‘today’ as she was not sure about ‘tomorrow’.
“Hello from the other side, not sure about tomorrow so watch today,” she said.
Betty has been embroiled in a tussle with her employer in the recent months that led to litigation, after the latter announced plans to cut senior employer salaries by 50 percent.
Betty was among the 36 employees who went to court and successfully obtained orders to stop the salary cuts.
Betty becomes the third senior employee to leave the station over salary cuts after Head of TV and Digital Peter Opondo and Head of Commercial Caroline Mwangi.
It is expected that more will follow, with Anne Kiguta and Jalang’o on the list. Jalang’o has not been on radio for sometime now, and it is expected that he could be on his terminal leave.
Recently, Mediamax announced plans to fire more employees over the adverse effects of Covid-19 pandemic to the economy.
In a letter to the county labour office, Mediamax acting CEO Ken Ngaruiya said that the company will abolish some positions as part of its cost optimization measures in the wake of its new business realities.
“The services of some of its employees will be rendered superfluous thereby necessitating the termination of their employment on account of redundancy. In accordance with the provisions of Section .10 of the Employment Act. No. II of 2007, Mediamax Network Limited hereby gives one (1) month’s notice of the intended redundancies,” said Mr Ngaruiya.
Mediamax owns K24 TV, People Daily, Milele FM, KamemeTv, Emoo FM, Kameme FM, Msenangu (formerly Pilipili FM), Mayian FM and Meru FM).