CS Owalo Reveals Bag of Goodies for KBC Staff in Revamp

News Anchors unveiled by KBC TV during a relaunch done on July 21 2021
News Anchors unveiled by KBC TV during a relaunch done on July 21, 2021.

ICT Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo revealed the government's plans to revamp KBC into Kenya's number-one TV station, a title that has been held by Citizen TV for a decade.

Speaking in Kisumu on Monday, February 20, Owalo identified three key areas that needed to be addressed to drive the state-owned media enterprise to the top.

He pointed out that KBC needed to ensure that it retained its staff adding that it is costly for the government to train professionals only to less them to higher-paying media houses.

Entrance to KBC
A photo of the entrance at the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC).

"We have staff who are demotivated. We are going to undertake job evaluations to ensure that we come up with salaries and benefit levels that are not only internally equitable but externally competitive based on what is being paid in the market.

"We have been having a problem of KBC being a training ground then journalists leave to pursue greener pastures. We want to make it the greener pasture in itself," Owalo stated. 

The CS added that the technological infrastructure used by the station was either outdated or damaged which places the station miles apart from the competition.

Furthermore, he declared that the content churned out by the station was no longer viable to the ever-dynamic TV audience.

"We are dealing with the youth who are tech savvy and whose interests have changed. We have to determine what the market needs and alight out content and programmes to meet the expectations of the market," he stated.

The State of Kenya's Media Report published by the Media Council of Kenya (MCK) on February 13, placed KBC joint-second with NTV in terms of TV viewership.

Racking in 12 per cent of the market share, the station improved by nine percentage points from 2021 - a growth MCK attributed to the streaming of World Cup matches.

KBC's last revamp was in June 2021 when the firm launched new studios and brought in a number of veteran journalists including the late Catherine Kasavauli in the media shake-up.

The 95-year-old station has witnessed a haemorrhage of its top talents to private media houses.  Among the biggest challenges is inadequate financing.

Citizen TV
Citizen TV news anchors pose for a photo at the Royal Media studios at a past date.