Swedish Billionaire to Shake Up Kenyan Media

  • Despite the high number of sackings by major media houses in the country, hopes of working in the fourth estate are still growing after the Communications Authority issued an operating licence to a new entrant in the media. 

    In a document seen by Kenyans.co.ke from the authority, Madgoat TV was issued with a licence for commercial-free to air broadcasting after a period of assessment.

    “This licence is granted for a period of ten years from the issuance date unless it is revoked earlier in accordance with the licence conditions herein,” read part of the statement.

    A camera man from Madgoat TV during a live match

    Speaking to our newsroom, an official from the station indicated that the station had already started the process of hiring employees ahead of its official launch.

    “The brand has been operating on various social media platforms including Facebook and YouTube channels. The licensing will help us have a broader reach.

    “We cannot establish the number of employees that may be needed but definitely some people must be brought in to move the brand forward,” remarked our source.

    The official also indicated that the station was moving ahead to create palatable content that would help it stand out in the already competitive industry.

    “The station will be maximising on sports and entertainment as a key area. We will also be covering special features in the country.

    “Our choice of content has been aligned according to the changing choice of content for viewers in the country,” added the source.

    The official also indicated that the Communications Authority gave the media company six months to staff and set up the required facilities before going on air.

    The upcoming Madgoat TV is associated with Wazito FC's, Swedish billionaire, Ricardo Badoer, who has termed the station as "my baby project and will help to make big changes to several sports in Kenya."

    The redundancy rates at different media houses have been notably high, occasioned by a declining trend in profits and a constrained economy.

    In October 2019, Mediamax Networks Limited sacked 160 employees, indicating that the company was realising low profits. 

    According to the company CEO Ken Ngaruiya, the media house was staring at low earnings due to hard economic times and needed to reduce operating costs.

    "As a company, we've tried everything, we looked at all the conditions including economic conditions and tried to minimize the effects of the proposed redundancy. We have followed all the due legal processes to ensure that the redundancy effect and the process is done in the best way possible.

    "It's been a difficult one month for everyone and it doesn't go unnoticed," remarked Ngaruiya.

    Communication Authority chairman Ngene Gituku (Left) and ICT principal secretary Eric Kiraithe during a press conference in November 2019

    In November 2019, Radio Africa Group also announced the termination of contracts for employees due to similar reasons.