NTV journalists’ and staffers’ jobs are hanging on the line after Nation Media Group’s (NMG) management suspended all editorial shows.
A source privy to the development told Kenyans.co.ke that the broadcaster, since Monday, began airing repeats of popular shows such as AM Live and Kigoda Chako.
Journalists suspected that NTV planned to replace all editorial shows and reduce news bulletins’ duration with prime-time set to be allocated 30 minutes and daytime news 15 minutes.
According to our source, the station intended to raise the quality of news item output, a departure from the ‘he said, she said’ reports dominating the mainstream media landscape.
Nation Media Group building located at Kimathi Street in Nairobi CBD
TV stations are struggling to adjust to the dynamic digital media, which has seen online news websites, bloggers and influencers enjoy a large share of the audience. Mainstream media is thus reduced to adding value to day’s news through pundits, panelists and special feature coverages.
The staffers, including camera people, are yet to receive a way forward from the management.
“There are changes, and the shows have been dropped this week, but they have not been confirmed (replacements). We have been told that they will have made a decision in two weeks.
“There is a possibility that all the shows will be returned. All shows currently on air are repeats,” our source speculated.
Other affected shows include Ben Kitili’s political commentary Front and Center and Saturday news coverage by anchors Fridah Mwaka and Lofty Matambo.
Reports also alleged that James Smart, Managing Editor – Newsroom production, was also affected by the changes. In April last year, Nation Media Group restructured and appointed in his new role. Journalist Oliver Mathenge was appointed as the Managing Editor in charge of Audiences and Engagement.
Reduction in bulletin duration, which currently transcends 1 hour for the prime time news and 30 minutes for daytime, failed to take effect on Monday.
When reached for comment, Joe Ageyo, who was unveiled as NMG Editorial Department’s Editor-in-Chief in September last year, told Kenyans.co.ke that he was on leave and asked our journalists to circle back next week.
The suspension comes months after the media outlet sent home tens of its workforce in August last year, citing a tough business environment.
At the time, a total of 20 correspondents received termination letters from its legal office. The issuance of termination letters had been the mandate of the Human Resources department until then.
The dismissals occurred approximately two weeks after a tense Quarter 3 meeting held by the media house on August 2 last year.
NTV studios at Twin Towers along Kimathi Street in a photo dated October 2017.