Radio Africa Announces Major Workforce Changes in Digital Strategy [EXCLUSIVE]

Kiss FM show host at the station's Waiyaki Way studio (left) and the front page of The Star Newspaper.
Kiss FM show host at the station's Waiyaki Way studio (left) and the front page of The Star Newspaper.

Radio Africa, which houses a slate of radio stations and the Star Newspaper, rolled out a new strategy that saw 60 per cent of its workforce moved permanently to grow its digital desk.

Speaking exclusively to, the media house's Head of Content Paul Ilado confirmed that the new strategy was officially rolled out across Radio Africa's titles including Kiss TV, The Star, Kiss FM, Classic FM, Radio Jambo, Smooth FM and its six news websites.

In the strategy, 30 per cent of the workforce was retained in The Star newspaper, which overhauled its type of content to concentrate on analytical stories and political scoops. The other 10 per cent will be retained at its radio stations.

The move, Ilado explained, is expected to steer away the media house from reliance on advertising revenue to reader-generated revenue.

Mbusii Deh and co-hosts at radio jambo studio
Mbusii Deh and co-hosts at Radio Jambo studio

"Radio Africa has legacy products in its fold. We have radio stations, TV and the newspaper. All these were built on the premise of advertising, and in the last two years, advertising has been diminishing for everybody.

"Advertising has moved towards digital and we are basically following our readers where they are and where the money is. In doing so, we have decided that we will repurpose our workforce to make sure that we attain the goal," he explained.

With the new strategy, the Waiyaki Way media outlet set new goals to double its monthly unique users across the six websites.

For now, Radio Africa serves online content to its 14 million unique monthly visitors - a figure it aims to expand to 20 million. The star is leading the fold with 6 million unique monthly readers.

"Our goal is to become bigger players in the digital space and make money out of it so that we are not dependent on advertising. We are definitely going for reader revenue. 

"Currently, we serve about 14 million unique users every month. The Star is our largest offering, with about 6 million unique monthly users. We want to double those numbers together with our other assets, including Mpasho.

"In total, we have about six websites. We want to double that to about 20 million unique users every month," he told

All departmental heads were already briefed on the new changes, whose official rollout was Tuesday, November 1.

Regarding the future of the Star Newspaper, Ilado maintained that the flagship publication would stay in print, but its content slightly differs from its online offering.

File Photo of Microphone in a radio station set up
Photo of Microphone in a radio station set up
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The six websites, which already serve different clusters of audiences, will have distinct profiles depending on the needs of their readers. Those affiliated with radio stations will carry the station's profile.

"The newspaper is not being closed. It will have different content that is analytical in nature, offers solution journalism and carries big political exclusives as well as investigative stories. We will have very less of breaking news stories in the paper.

"For the websites that are aligned to our radio stations, will follow the profiles of our radio stations. We are focusing on the audiences. Digital-first is something we are moving away from because we have been there and we are now focused on what our audiences want," he concluded.

In recent years, the media landscape has experienced a shift, with many legacy media houses clawing their way into the digital future.

Nation, for a while, toyed with the idea of shunning overreliance on advertising by launching a paywall that netted Ksh5 million in its first year. The media house, however, later placed the project on pause.

The Standard has been steadfast with a paywall while the same project is reportedly still in the works at The Star, which specialises in political reporting.