A record number of high-ranking journalists bid their media careers goodbye in 2023, some of whom had spent decades curating and delivering news to the public on television.
A majority of the journalists, including Francis Gachuri and Najma Ismail, secured positions with President William Ruto’s administration.
Here are 9 prominent journalists who left the Fourth Estate in 2023.
Francis Gachuri – Citizen TV
A photo of former Citizen TV Political Editor Francis Gachuri.
Media veteran Francis Gachuri shocked the media world when he exited Citizen TV in March this year for a position at the Interior Ministry.
Kenyans.co.ke first broke the news that the former political affairs editor was leaving Royal Media Services, where he held several positions over the years including Senior Political Reporter, Political Affairs Editor, and Commentator on the News Gang program.
At the Interior Ministry, Gachuri serves as the Head of Communications. He is responsible for creating, delivering, and evaluating communication strategies.
Salim Swaleh – NTV
Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi (left) and his Communications Director, Salim Swaleh during a past meeting on January 26, 2023.
Towards the end of 2022, Salim Swaleh left his media job behind when he was appointed as the Information and Communications Technology, ICT, e-government, and Public Communication chief officer in the Nakuru County Government.
At the time of his departure, Swaleh had served at NTV since 2018, when he joined the Kimathi Street-based media outlet from Citizen TV.
Earlier this year, Swale ditched the Nakuru County job for a position at the Office of Prime Cabinet Secretary, where he serves as the Communications Director.
He revealed that he left the Nakuru County job and accepted an offer from Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi because the position under the Susan Kihika-led government was the subject of litigation.
Kennedy Mureithi – NTV
Former NTV Senior Political journalist Kennedy Murithi Bundi.
In January, NTV political reporter Kennedy Mureithi quit the station after a 10-year stint.
“Today, I take a break from the newsroom and embark on a new journey. It has been a wonderful 10 years at Nation, and I have grown into the fine journalist I am today.
“I leave the Twin Towers regrettably. To my colleagues, thank you for being such a great support team,” Mureithi announced at the time.
He later joined Tharaka Nithi County where he serves as a Political Advisor to Governor Muthomi Njuki.
Sharon Momanyi – KTN News
File photo of former KTN News Anchor Sharon Momanyi at a past event.
TV personality and journalist Sharon Momanyi in April confirmed that she had officially departed Standard Media Group.
In her exit speech, the journalist lauded her colleagues and bosses for allowing her to work at the station. She, however, did not disclose her next move.
“April 2, 2013: Young intern joins KTN newsroom with lofty ambitions of telling stories that change people’s lives,” she announced at the time.
April 2, 2023: Leaves with nothing but gratitude for the trust of those who have shared their stories with me and a platform to make a difference.”
Jane Ngoiri – NTV
A file photo of former NTV anchor Jane Ngoiri at NTV studios.
In March, former NTV News Anchor Jane Ngoiri landed a new job as a member of the HIV and AIDS Tribunal. She was appointed to the job by Attorney General Justin Muturi.
The job came two years after she had left her news anchoring job at NTV where she presented Swahili news alongside Salim Swaleh.
In her new role, she serves alongside Carolyne Mboku (the Chairperson), Nelson Wanyonyi Osiemo, Brian Ouko Yego, Dr Irene Njahira Mukui, Prof Walter Godfrey Jaoko, and Dr Solomon Musani. She will serve in the position for 3 years.
Jeff Mote – K24 TV
Jeff Mote hosting ‘K24 This Morning’.
Former K24 news anchor Jeff Mote vacated his morning show duties at the station in April this year after landing a job at an international firm, Sandin Consulting.
He was appointed as the company’s Head of Media Partnerships -Africa Division permanently.
Sandin Consulting welcomed the seasoned journalist to their team, citing his proven track record in the media industry.
Before his exit, Mote hosted the K24 This Morning show. He joined the media station in November 2017 as a senior anchor.
Frank Otieno – KTN News
KTN News anchor and Manager – Newspaper Education, Frank Otieno
Frank Otieno, who hosted the Dua la Elimu show on KTN News, exited the station in February after amassing 15 years of service.
During his 15-year tenure, he worked as a reporter, senior reporter, Bureau Chief in Kisumu, Editor-Swahili Desk, and finally Manager, Newspaper in Education (NIE) program.
In October this year, the veteran journalist was appointed as the Liason Officer Collaboration and Partnerships at The Management University of Africa.
“I am delighted to join this vibrant staff at MUA, and I look forward to working with the team for the university to realize its goals,” Otieno, a seasoned journalist and education stakeholder, told Kenyans.co.ke.
Sophia Wanuna – KTN News
KTN new anchor Sophia Wanuna poses for a photo in studio
Wanuna had risen to the position of Deputy Editor, Broadcast at Standard Group. She was arguably one of the best political reporters and news anchors in the country.
Sophia, previously hosted Checkpoint – KTN News‘ political show, on Sundays at 9:00 pm and was a lead reporter on The Big Story – a current affairs show that aired on weekdays between 8:00 pm and 9:00 pm.
A few days later, the anchor was appointed Deputy Director and Head of the Directorate of Public Affairs and Corporate Communications at the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).
Najma Ismail – KTN News
Najma Ismail, former KTN Presenter and seasoned journalist.
Najma Ismail quit KTN News in March this year after serving for 11 years. At the station, Najma rose to become one of the best news anchors in the country.
She was later promoted to head the Gender Desk at the station, empowering women and contributing to positive coverage of women thriving in different sectors.
Najma started her career at Iqra FM, where she worked as an anchor and reporter. She was later recruited to join Sound Asia FM.
Her big break came in 2006 when Radio Africa employed her as a news anchor and reporter for Classic 105 and Kiss 100. Seven years later, she got another big break when KTN hired her as a news anchor and reporter.
That same month, Ismail landed a position in the Office of State House Spokesperson under Hussein Mohamed.
Her responsibilities include developing relationships with media organisations and important local and international communication channels.