An insider at Standard Group Limited has lifted the lid on the financial challenges experienced that led to Radio Maisha going off-air on Tuesday in Nairobi and some other areas in the country.
Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke on condition of anonymity, the source revealed that due to cost-cutting at the Mombasa Road station, they have not been able to maintain transmitters and satellite components as required.
Private contractors who offer the services to the station have ended contracts after the Moi Family-owned entity failed to meet its end of the bargain.
On Tuesday, the satellites that enable the company to air its programmes suffered what the source termed as a sunspot, leading to the outage. This, however, lasted for five hours as the services were later restored.
A sunspot is an interruption of satellite signals caused by an interference that disrupts the normal transmission of data.
"You can find somewhere in Isiolo and other remote areas, Radio Maisha's signal has not been working for three or four days. Once the issue is raised after some time, then it is restored," the source indicated.
He added that the company relied on contracting technical consultants to manage the maintenance of the satellite systems.
"Out of 12 engineers, 4 broadcast engineers were recently fired, hence those remaining were tasked with ensuring all the signals are working to a maximum," he added.
"They don't have the capacity to have people on full-term basis at the stations. Currently, they rely on consultants."
Radio Maisha is one of the radio stations owned by Standard Group. Established in 2010 as a Kiswahili station, Radio Maisha touches on news, entertainment, and current affairs.
The financial challenges experienced at the media house highlight the period of uncertainty, with journalists unsettled over their future at Standard Group.
In early September, the media house announced another staff layoff, the second one in 2023.