The deadly COVID-19 has without doubt brought several sectors of the economy in the world to a hurtful slowdown if not a standstill.
In many Kenyan industries (from media, tourism, education, among others) hundreds have lost their jobs.
This has been partly due to due to the new strict measures introduced by the government to stop the spread of the killer disease.
Last week an interesting announcement was made by MediaMax limited (which owns K24 TV) that they intend to merge with Standard Media Group’s KTN.
“Mediamax Network Limited regrets to advice; that owing to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that has had adverse effects on its revenue streams, it shall reorganize its staff structure ad abolish some positions as part of its cost optimization measures in the wake of its new business realities. In view of the above, the services of some of its employees will be rendered superfluous thereby necessitating the termination of their employment on account of redundancy,” read a statement by Mediamax.
Days before the move there was wrangles within the company to slush the employees’ salaries. The decision was strongly blocked by some employees like celebrated presenter Betty Kyallo.
Several days after, fresh reports emerged that the famous news anchor is among those expected to be sacked by the company following the merger.
The K24 Weekend news anchor has since responded to the claims that her well-paying job at the station might soon be gone.
This was after a fan in one of her Instagram posts sought to know whether the reports making rounds on social media were true.
The mother of one said she had also heard the same rumors, adding that she has her own YouTube channel just in case it happens and asked people to subscribe.
How the merger will work…
In October last year, the Kenyatta family-owned station showed the door to some of its top and long-serving editors after announcing a plan to have more than 160 employees fired over tough economic times.
If the deal goes through, the two Kenyan rival television stations are set to work together, including sharing of news content, in a one-of-its-a-kind deal seen to shake up the broadcast industry in Kenya.
According to people familiar with Mediamax affairs, the media house owned by President Uhuru Kenyatta is scrapping in-house news programs for K24 and eventually closing down Kameme TV, its vernacular television station.
Instead, K24 will be streaming KTN News feed during its primetime news hours of 7 pm and 9 pm. Details of the arrangement remained scanty as we published this, but sources indicated Mediamax management would be holding a staff meeting this morning to give details of the planned redundancy and restructuring of operations.
K24 was established in 2007 while KTN News started operations in 2015, adopting the 24-hour news model that the former had started off with but dumped later to venture into mainstream programming.