Nation Media Group’s (NMG) NTV has poached two senior journalists from Standard Media’s KTN in the latest changes.
Senior news reporter Janet Chapia and Swahili news editor Nicholas Wambua will now move to NTV with each taking different roles. For instance, the two will both take editorial roles, with Wambua editing Swahili news while Chapia will focus on the English side.
The new changes come just two months after NTV fired three senior journalists in what it termed as a restructuring move.
The three, NTV Sports editor and anchor Watson Karuma, Swahili anchor Kartun Juma and business reporter Alex Mwangi were laid off on the same day they were notified.
After receiving their letters, sources in the know claimed, Karuma and Juma exited the company’s WhatsApp group without a word, apparently in protest of the management’s decision.
Apparently, the sacking followed a protracted row over workload. The affected journalists were said to have been forced to take up extra duties, previously held by sacked colleagues, without a salary increase. They blamed their troubles on a new entrant in the management’s top leadership.
“Only Alex said his goodbyes, Kaltun and Watson just left. But we knew that they had been demoralized by the demands that the boss has put on them. It’s quite unfair if you ask me,” a source told a local news outlet.
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“It’s hard right now because the staff is demoralized. After the last lot left, the company did not hire for those roles, now people were being given extra work without increased pay,” the source added.
The management has reportedly made little effort to bring in new talent after the last layoffs that affected a number of top journalists.
The latest layoffs are touted as an attempt by the media house to push out seasoned journalists, paid hefty salaries, to create room for new talent, a cost-cutting strategy that has been adopted by several media houses amid dwindling fortunes during the Covid-19 pandemic.