Nation Media Group Announces Mass Firing

  • The Nation Centre building in Nairobi's Kimathi Street where the Nation Media Group offices are located. Monday, October 21, 2019
    The Nation Centre building in Nairobi's Kimathi Street where the Nation Media Group offices are located. Monday, October 21, 2019
    Simon Kiragu
    Kenyans.co.ke
  • Nation Media Group has announced that it intends to lay off some members of its team following plans to reorganise the business model. 

    According to documents seen by Kenyans.co.ke the layoff, which is said to be targeting over 100 members of staff, will start as soon as July 3, 2020. 

    “In this journey, the group seeks to radically change its business model from print advertising and physical reader copy to digital advertising, e-paper subscriptions and content-driven reader revenue,” the statements reads in part. 

    Nation Media Group CEO Stephen Gitagama.
    Nation Media Group CEO Stephen Gitagama.
    Daily Nation

    “This will require re-tooling and resourcing the group with relevance skill sets critical for success in the new business environment.

    "Regrettably, this will result in a reduction of our workforce effective Friday, July 3, 2020,” NMG Group CEO Stephen Gitama announced. 

    The redundancies are expected to cut across the newsroom with those targeted being from multiple departments. 

    Nation Media Group Digital Editor Churchill Otieno is going to be very instrumental in the reorganisation of the newsroom in NMG's new business model. 

    "Advertising can no longer fund journalism sufficiently. There is a lot of creativity going on in our mainstream media houses to reimagine the business models in order to find clean money that can fund journalism," Churchill Otieno stated in an interview on the morning of the layoff announcement. 

    NMG Digital Editor and Chair of the Kenya Editors Guild Churchill Otieno (right) with his Vice Chair Samuel Maina during a past press briefing
    NMG Digital Editor and Chair of the Kenya Editors Guild Churchill Otieno (right) with his Vice Chair Samuel Maina during a past press briefing
    File

    Nation Media Group Editorial Director Mutuma Mathiu, in December 2019, had warned publishing companies that the digital environment would disrupt media and that companies needed to adjust. 

    The company has made special arrangements for those affected to seek counselling support and those stationed outside Nairobi will be offered relocation assistance. 

    The sacked staff will receive medical cover for a period of two months until August 31, 2020. 

    Thereafter, the company will negotiate a medical insurance scheme through its current provider which those affected may opt to individually join. 

    Journalists who will survive the purge will continue earning a reduced salary after the pay cut was extended to December 31, 2020.

    Nation Media Group profits shrunk by 23% to Ksh856 million for the year ending December 2019. The revenue continued dwindling after the outbreak of Covid-19. 

    In March 2018, the company announced that it was investing in a new state-of-the-art Ksh150 million publishing system that would converge content production on its print, broadcast and digital platforms.