- Simon KiraguKenyans.co.ke
For the last couple of weeks, the Standard Media Group has laid off a number of workers in a bid to realign the organisation structure to be better equipped to deal with the emerging business challenges.
Kenyans.co.ke has learned that this is the culmination of a restructuring exercise outsourced to an unnamed Dutch firm to oversee what the move to what the company is calling 'convergence'.
The group houses KTN News, KTN Home, KTN Burudani Standard Newspaper, Nairobian, Raidio Maisha, Spice FM as well as corresponding digital platforms.
At least five highly-placed sources contacted by Kenyans.co.ke intimated that employees in a number of departments including print, production and commercial, had been sent packing in the month of August.A file image of the KTN studios
The most affected were those whose contracts had expired as well as pensionable and permanent employees with the messages being relayed on text and emails.
Currently, the media house is working on having a modern newsroom where human resource assets will be leveraged on to achieve synergy in line with the dream of convergence.
So far, editorial staff have not been affected, but it is expected that significant changes will be introduced, including some being let go.
"There are talks the company will let go many in the editorial team once it completes its modern newsroom meant to encourage convergence, sometime before the year ends," one of the sources stated.
In March 2020, the media house notified employees of a decision to declare 170 positions redundant, citing a difficult business environment.
In a memo sent to employees, the media house listed other reasons for the decision as; "Shifting trends in media consumption occasioned by technological changes in the digital environment, efficiencies arising from automation of key internal processes and outsourcing of non-core services."
The company noted that the process would be done in compliance with relevant labour laws including the Employment Act 2007 and Labour Relations Act.
The changes at Standard Group represent the latest in a trend of media houses laying off employees due to the harsh economic environment and evolution of media consumption.
In June, Royal Media Services sent home a number of workers including; Hot 96 FM Presenter Nancy Wanjiku Karanja known to many as Shix Kapienga, Radio Citizen presenters Syombua Osiany, John Maloba, Himenigilder Mugeni among others.
Just a day before, Mediamax Network Limited sent home it’s entire K24 TV newsroom staff, sparing only two.
The government has since indicated that 61.9% of Kenyans have lost their jobs since the Covid-19 outbreak was declared in March 13, 2020.File image of K24 news studio.
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