Nation Media Group (NMG) Business and Technology Editor Julians Amboko is leaving for the World Bank, capping one of the steadiest rises for a TV journalist in Kenya.
Amboko, who is also the Business News Anchor on NTV, resigned on August 7, according to a source with direct knowledge of happenings at Twin Tower.
Amboko — the face of NTV’s business coverage for the last six years — is said to have made the decision to leave NMG recently following a raft of changes that have put more pressure on editors amid capacity challenges in the newsrooms.
“He'll be leaving at the end of next month [September]," the source revealed.
Amboko, who according to the source has been doing some jobs on the side for the World Bank, is leaving after attempts to convince the management to increase the number of reporters on the Business Desk were rejected.
"He has been complaining about the workload to colleagues and management. Besides his role on TV, he is in charge of business news content for all the platforms including Business Daily and Nation Africa," the source said.
The source said the Group’s Editorial Director Joe Ageyo has maintained that the management was keen to deliver to the board a 30 per cent payroll cut as promised by consultants from FT Strategies, the consulting arm of UK publisher — Financial Times who have mapped a digital transformation plan for the company.
“The board was promised that the restructuring would cut payroll by 30 per cent. Any attempt to increase headcount has been shot down by Ageyo. Some new roles that were proposed have also been scrapped,” the source told Kenyans.co.ke.
The company's efforts to cement the shift from legacy operations to digital media have seen a voracious chop into the company's payroll, sending home some permanent staff and correspondents including writers from the bureaus.
This has put pressure on editors who have to deliver high-quality content in readiness for a paywall that the company is planning to reintroduce after earlier efforts failed.
Amboko refuted reports of his departure last week when Kenyans.co.ke reached him for comment.
"You are getting it from where? I am still at Nation. Nyamasyo, I am still at Nation," Amboko exclaimed.
Two separate sources at the company, however, have also confirmed that he is on his way out and probably wants to break the news about his departure himself.
Amboko started his media career a decade ago at NMG for one year before joining StratLink - Africa Limited where he worked as a Research Analyst until September 2018.
He rejoined NMG as a Business News anchor and reporter before being promoted to editor in 2020. In May 2023, he was appointed the Group Content Lead, Business and Technology in the newly restructured newsroom.
His departure follows another exit of the Group News Editor Allan Olingo, who reportedly is heading to The Fuller Project.
With the company's battered profits further dropping amid a new structure that is still in doubt and internal strife following silent firings of correspondents, the source says that more exits could be on the way.
“The leadership is not even stopping people from leaving. They are encouraging it, saying things are bad,” the source said.
According to the source, the management is treating the exits as a cheaper way of cutting the payroll without the emotional burden linked to layoffs.
"In fact, I think a majority of journalists at Nation would leave with 25 per cent less salary."