The Standard Media Group has laid off a number of staffers in a restructuring move aimed at cutting costs, Kahawa Tungu has learnt.
The media house associated with the late President Daniel Arap Moi’s family owns KTN Home, Standard Newspaper, KTN News, KTN Burudani, the Nairobian paper, Radio Maisha, Spice FM as well as several digital platforms.
The Group reportedly outsourced a Dutch firm to help them in the restructuring exercise aimed at achieving “convergence” so as to realign the company to better deal with current business realities.
The redundancies effected in the past few weeks reportedly affected staffers in various departments including print, production and commercial.
This writer understands that a majority of staffers who took the brunt of the layoffs were those whose contracts had expired as well as pensionable and permanent employees.
The employer notified the affected employees of the decision to send them home via text and emails.
The Standard Group Management is in the process of setting up a modern newsroom where human resource assets will be leveraged on to achieve synergy in line with the “convergence” dream.
While the editorail team was not affected by the recent redunduncies, the media house is likely to send home a number of them as part of the restructuing process.
The lay offs come months after the media house revealed plans to let go at least 170 staffers across all departments in a new restructuring move.
Through a notice dated March 18, 2020, the Company CEO Orlando Lyomu indicated that the redundancies would be effected in phases.
The CEO stated that the move was necessitated by various factors including the need to realign the organization structure to be better equipped to deal with emerging business challenges brought about by regulatory changes and difficult business environments.
Other factors cited are the shifting trends in media consumption due to technology changes and other efficiencies arising from automation of key internal processes.
“All employees who will be declared redundant will be paid as follows: a) Payment for days worked until the exit date. b) Severance pay of 15 days or days indicated in CBA for union workers; for every completed year of service. c) Notice pay as per contract of employment. cl) Payment of leave days accrued and not taken at the time of exit. e) Pension dues in line with the Scheme rules,” the notice read.
Standard Group joins a list of a number of rival companies including Mediamax Network Limited and Royal Media Services, who laid off employees due to dwindling fortunes parly attributed to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy.