Nation Media Group (NMG) has begun a new round of job cuts with at least 15 journalists on their way out, even after initial promises that most would be absorbed into new roles.
The largest media outlet in the region is tightening its belt in the face of dwindling advertising, which is the mainstay of Kenya media outlets, as investments in digital fail to offset the falling revenues.
A source who spoke to Kenyans.co.ke revealed that the journalists who are being sent home were initially promised to apply for new roles after they were notified in June about the impending layoff, but the company has since decided to let them go.
"It was a month of mental torture! They gave me my letter yesterday," a distraught writer who has worked at the Twin Tower for years told Kenyans.co.ke.
"Onto new things, maybe better things are coming."
The news comes as NMG's other rivals line up massive staff cuts as they bleed revenues on the back of falling newspaper circulation.
Standard has been struggling to pay staff for months while Radio Africa Group has fired at least 40 journalists with more on their way in September.
The firings, which are now becoming an annual ritual, are a culmination of an era in which legacy media outlets minted billions in advertising revenues but forgot to invest in new media to capture the next generation of readers.
NMG in June gave 10 journalists a verbal notice but asked them to apply for new positions in the converged newsroom. The source revealed that only 2 made it to the interview but were not picked for the new roles.
"In June, they were given the option to apply for the positions, continue working awaiting the (dismissal) letter, or go home and wait for the letter. Some chose to go home but others applied for the positions. People were called for the interviews, only two were shortlisted. Others were left out," the source revealed.
The job cuts have mostly affected journalists from NTV and the newspaper division.
The source noted that some of the journalists applied for the jobs but only two were shortlisted for different positions, one from NTV and another from the newspaper wing.
"If there are two editors covering politics, one on TV and another in the paper, one will have to go," the source noted.
There are plans to further trim the thin workforce which will see the media giant only retain a few reporters and cut the number of correspondents.
According to the source, the company has already identified correspondents across its publications who will be shown the door in a plan yet to be unveiled.