10 Journalists Who Switched Stations in 2018 [Part 1]

  • No Kenyan industry has had an eventful year like that of the media, more so TV business.

    This year alone, dozens of both seasoned journalists and those working hard to make a mark have switched stations, probably more than any other year of this century.

    This was in part influenced by the rapid opening of new media houses as well as hosting the largest BBC’s bureau outside of Britain which was determined to hire more than 250 local talent.

    The move even left some houses devoid of anchors and management in what was considered a media exodus.

    Here are some of the shifts we witnessed in 2018.

    10. Abuller Ahmed

    In early November, Kenya’s Television Network (KTN) suffered a blow after one of its celebrated sports anchors Abuller Ahmed ditched the Mombasa Road based media house for the then newly launch Switch TV.

    The anchor had worked with Standard Media for three years before switching to the new station that targets millennials and their rapidly changing information age.

    The Kenya Institute of Mass Communication graduate had joined the station after emerging among the top three contestants for “The Presenter Season 2.”

    9. Serah Ndanu

    The former K24 screen siren was the latest anchor to switch stations where she is expected to take over Joey Muthengi’s spot at Citizen TV.

    Kenyans.co.ke exclusively reported that Serah Ndanu Teshna, 24, would be joining Willis Raburu and Waihiga Mwaura (once he returns) to co-host the station’s Day Break show.

    The Tourism Management graduate had hosted KTN’s Skin Therapy prior to joining K24 Alfajiri alongside Ciru Muriuki and Jeff Mote.

    8. Trevor Ombija

    Trevor Ombija, 29, confirmed to Kenyans.co.ke in November that he was calling it quits at NTV and was set to join Citizen TV.

    "Everything that has a beginning has an end. It's time to go and swim with the sharks,” the senior anchor told Kenyans.co.ke’s Paul Wanjama at the time.

    Prior, Ombija had an illustrious career including having worked as an assignment desk editor at CCTV Africa.

    7. Rashid Abdalla

    In June, Rashid Abdalla wrapped up his stay at Nation Media and joined his wife, Lulu Hassan, at Citizen TV.

    The Kimathi street media house bled the most as many highly placed journalist left the station to join other rivals both in Kenya and internationally.

    The celebrated Kiswahili anchor now hosts Nipashe Wikendi alongside his wife and also appears on the station’s day time show, Sema na Citizen.

    6. Jamila Mohamed.

    Roughly two weeks after Jamila’s boss, Linus Kaikai, left Nation Media, the respected Kiswahili anchor also called it quits and followed him to Citizen TV.

    At the time of her exit, she had been the longest serving anchor at the Kimathi street station having joined in 2002.

    She had climbed through the ranks to become the Manager of Programming and Content Development at NTV Kenya. At Citizen TV, she is the managing editor for Swahili services, a position she took over from Swaleh Mdoe.

    5. Yvonne Okwara

    In April, Yvonne Okwara Matole handed her resignation letter to KTN’s management and decamped to Citizen TV where she is now a news anchor.

    The no nonsense interviewer had then been reportedly serving a notice that ended in April.

    Speculation also revealed that the former KTN Managing Editor Joe Ageyo may have facilitated the move after he took up the Editorial Director position at RMS.

    4. Victoria Rubadiri

    In May, the bubbly Victoria Rubadiri ended her stay at NTV joining a team of other highly placed journalists from the station who had joined Citizen TV.

    The ever smiling anchor had spent close to seven years at the twin towers since joining the station in 2012.

    While at NTV, Rubadiri was the host and producer of the Women and Power segment and the popular show Victoria’s Lounge.

    3. Larry Madowo

    Larry Madowo rather left Nation Media noisily.

    The Business Editor of BBC Africa had surprisingly deleted all NTV tags from his Twitter account only leaving the word, Journalist, as his description.

    Madowo left Nation Media at a time when several other high profile journalists were resigning citing interference from the state.

    He joined BBC Africa in April.

    2. Betty Kyallo

    In August, Betty Kyallo left KTN where she hosted a popular Friday news bulletin; Friday Briefing to join K24.

    The celebrated anchor had served up to eight years at the Mombasa Road based station before she emotionally left in 2018.

    She caused a stir and even slowed traffic along Nairobi City’s major roads in the events that led to her new show unveiling at K24 with a hashtag trend #MysteriousVIP who happened to be herself.

    1. Linus Kaikai

    In an exclusive report from Kenyans.co.ke, Linus Kaikai, who was the General Manager of NTV at Nation Media, was served a letter relieving him of his duties at the station.

    Shortly after, the veteran media personality with decades of experience in journalism was added up on Royal Media Services duty roster with a new title. He is the Director of Strategy and Innovation.

    Journalists who switched Radio Stations

    Additionally, various other shifts were experienced in the radio world. Here are some of the cases.

    1. Vincent Ateya

    In April, celebrated radio presenter Vincent Ateya returned to Royal Media Services’ owned Citizen radio and assumed a higher role.

    In 2016, Ateya had left the radio station for Qwetu radio where he doubled as a presenter and a programmes manager.

    At Citizen, Ateya was made the head of Luhya radio which includes Vuuka FM, Sulwe FM and Mulembe FM. The radio stations are more popular in Western areas.

    2. Jalango

    In July, Felix Oduor, popularly known as Comedian Jalang’o, called it quits at RMS-owned Hot 96 and joined Milele FM reuniting with his one time co-host Alex Mwakideu.

    The two had worked together on a show at Standard Group’s Radio Maisha before Jalang’o left for Hot 96 morning show which he hosted alongside Jeff Koinange.

    The two, Jalang’o and Mwakideu, had, before then, hinted that they would soon reunite.

    3. Joyce Gituro

    At around the same time Jalang’o quit Hot 96, another top ranked employee of RMS called it quits and decamped to Milele FM.

    Joyce Gituro, who was the head of radio at the media house and hosted the Pambazuka show alongside Jeridah Andayi, quit the station after years of service.

    She was well known for her grasp of the scriptures and series of hosts that shared the gospel with the audience.

    4. Jacky Nyaminde “Wilbroda”

    In July, through a mass exodus from Radio Citizen, Jacky Nyaminde, who is popularly known as Wilbroda, tendered her resignation and joined the rival Milele FM.

    She left at at a time when several other employees, such as Joyce Gituro and Francis Luchivya, from the Dennis Pritt-based media house were calling it it quits.

    She however maintained her stage name, Wilbroda, explaining that she was open to any other role that would emerge from her new station.

    Wilbroda hosted Radio Citizen’s Jambo Kenya alongside Francis Luchivya and Inspekta Mwala.