Mediamax Chief Executive Officer Ian Fernandes has called it quits after five years of service at the media house associated with the Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto’s families.
According to reports, Fernandes, who joined the station in May 2014, is leaving the media house to pursue personal interests.
Before joining Mediamax, Fernandes worked at the Nation Media Group as the Managing Director Broadcast and Digital Divisions.
Prior to NMG debut, Fernandes, who is an engineer by training, worked for KTN as Group Technical and Production Director between December 1993 and December 2004.
Previously he has also served as an Information Communication Technology Consultant with KPMG.
Last year, Fernandes was elected the Media Owners Association Treasurer.
At Mediamax, Fernandes will be remembered for among other things making People Daily a free copy, cutting its pagination from 48 pages to a maximum of 32 pages and further, phasing out Sunday’s edition.
Instead, he introduced a Weekend Edition, which takes care of Saturday and Sunday articles.
Fernandes also presided over the retrenchment of a number of former Citizen TV and KTN staff who had been poached with ‘huge salaries’ by former Chairman Granton Samboja, with some pocketing twice what they were being paid by their former employers.
Some of the staff who were retrenched include Anne Ngugi, Nyatichi Nyasani, Rashid Ronald, Zawadi Mudibo (who later returned before leaving for BBC), Joyce Mkawasi, Caleb Karuga and Yassin Juma.
The holder of a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Nairobi, while at Mediamax, also oversaw the expansion and launch of new stations.
They are Kameme TV, Mayian FM, Meru FM and Emoo FM and the recently rebranded Asena FM, previously Pilipili FM.
Recently, the media house hired former International Criminal court (ICC) suspect Joshua Arap Sang to its Kalenjin station, Emoo FM, after years of being off the airwaves.
According to reports, the hiring of the former Kass FM presenter is aimed at increasing the radio’s fan base, with some saying it’s is a tactical move to increase DP Ruto’s influence at the media house ahead of 2022 State House race.
Sang is claimed to have a major following in the Rift Valley region and his return on the airwaves is deemed to increase the station’s listenership.