The media industry was one of the most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Most employers either retrenched hundreds of their staff, or enforced pay cuts to cushion themselves from economic ruin.
Renowned TV anchors, top radio personalities either quit or were let go as stations fought tooth and nail to stay afloat during this difficult time. Some of the fired journalists opted to file suits in court seeking reprieve from the corridors of justice on grounds that they had been let go illegally.
A number of them switched stations, while others resorted to grazing the digital platforms for new opportunities. Many others resorted to side hustles totally unrelated to media. Others, however, have since remained unemployed and are currently combing the streets, job hunting.
Here are some of the major switches that defined 2020.
Major TV ChangesFormer NTV Anchor Ken Mijungu (left) interviewing DP William Ruto at his Karen home on Thursday, January 23, 2020.File
This will no doubt go down as one of the most high profile shift in the Kenyan media space. The former NTV anchor joined KTN News in December 2020, just five months after his contract was terminated at Nation Media Group.
Mijungu was unveiled as News and Assignment Editor for the media house. Reports indicate that he will double up as a news anchor, besides hosting his own show reminiscent to what he did with Sidebar while still at NTV.
Daniel Kariuki, Kimani Githuku
The two former K24 TV presenters joined KTN News in November 2020. Daniel Kariuki was specifically hired as a reporter majoring on political stories.
His previous show at K24 TV was a segment on the station's morning slot dubbed Lishe Bora that centred around cooking.
Kariuki's colleague at K24 TV Kimani Githuku joined him at the Mombasa Road-based station.
The shift came after Mediamax Network Limited fired all its newsroom staff in its broadcaster K24 TV including news anchors in June 2020.
Sports show host Tony Kwalanda landed a night slot at Switch TV after his contract at K24 TV was terminated sometime this year. Kwalanda, a man with an interesting personality kept thousands of sports viewers in Kenya entertained with his unique style.
Journalist Sam Njoroge who left KBC in sometime in August 2018 returned home to KBC in August, two years after leaving Kenya's oldest station. Njoroge used to anchor day time bulletin at the Mediamax before leaving the station.
Salim Harith, Abuller Ahmed
Harith Salim, a gifted NTV Kiswahili news anchor, joined K24 TV five months after being shown the door at the Nation Media Group.
Salim was laid off alongside his colleagues Ken Mijungu and Debarl Inea on July 3, 2020.
The anchor joined K24 TV Kiswahili news desk where he was tasked with reporting, anchoring news and coordinating various digital projects.
Abuller Ahmed, currently K24 TV's sports anchor, also joined the Mediamax owned TV channel in June 2020 from Switch TV, a month after K24 retrenched anchors, presenters and senior management. Abuller who previously worked for KTN, assumed the role of Swahili Editor and Sports news anchor rule at his new home.Former NTV anchor Harith Salim who joined K24 TV in December 2020
Major Radio Changes
Felix Odiwour (Jalang’o) quit Mediamax Network’s Milele FM in June 2020. There are reports the veteran radio journalist's departure was a protest move following alleged arbitrary salary cuts fronted by the media house to cushion itself from economic meltdown during the coronavirus pandemic.
After quiting Milele FM, Jalang'o returned to Radio Africa’s Kiss FM in July 2020, where he teamed up with firebrand presenter Kamene Goro.
Francis Munyao who goes with the moniker MCA Tricky, quit Standard Media Group’s Radio Maisha and joined presenter Alex Mwakideu at Milele FM.
Tricky moved to replace Jalang'o who left Milele FM for Kiss FM.
Anchors and Presenters Who Quit
Betty Kyalo, Ahmed Balo and Shiksha Arora were among TV personalities who left K24 TV.
Kyalo unveiled a YouTube program dubbed Betty Kyalo Lately where she created content and also marketed her beauty spa Flare by Betty.
Debearl Inea was fired by NTV in July 2020 while former Citizen TV anchor Anne Kiguta quit K24 TV on Sunday, December 6.
And just recently, on Friday, December 11, gospel musician Joyce Omondi left Switch TV after almost two years hosting the Full Circle show.
In the radio section, Andrew Kibe quit Kiss FM in July 2020 to launch his own digital radio station, Rogue Radio.Radio presenter Jalang'o pictured at Kiss FM studios on July 13, 2020
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