Emerging reports say that the Kenyatta Family’s MediaMax is set to shut down its vernacular television station Kameme Tv.
The media house is also set to end news programming on its mainstream television station K24. The media house has reportedly entered into an agreement with the Moi Family’s KTN News. Under the agreement, the two television stations will share news content. This will see K24 stream the 7pm and 9pm from KTN News channel, which is part of the Standard Media Group. This is the latest indication that MediaMax is in the middle of a financial crisis. Bizna Kenya, is however, yet to independently verify these reports.
K24 was established in 2007 while KTN News started operations in 2015. K24 has however failed to gain significant traction in a highly competitive media industry. This is despite bringing on board top media personalities including Betty Kyalo and Ann Kiguta. In the same breathe, Kameme Tv has been unable to topply Royal media Services’ Inooro TV from the top position. This has seen Inooro walk away with the largest chunk of advertising business in an already highly concentrated business segment.
It is expected that the merger between K24 and KTN News could have top names at MediaMax declared redundant. “Mediamax Network Limited regrets to advise; that owing to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic that has adverse effects on its revenue streams, it shall reorganize its staff structure and abolish some positions as part of its cost optimization measures in the wake of its new business realities,” a statement from Mediamax chief executive officer Ken Ngaruiya announced on May 21. “In line with the current HR policies, Mediamax Network Limited shall give the employees declared redundant one month’s notice. Alternatively, Mediamax may pay them one month’s salary in lieu of notice and pay a severance pay at the rate of 15 days’ pay for each year of severance.”
The media house is already facing a lawsuit from disgruntled employees after declaring that it would slash salaries by as much as fifty per cent. “Amongst the proposed measures that will directly apply to employees will be a reduction of between 20 per cent and 50 per cent on Gross Monthly Pay based on job levels effective April 2020,” the salary reduction declaration statement from Mr. Ngaruiya read. In the petition that was filed at the Employment and Labour Relations Court, Ms. Kyalo, comedian Jalang’o and news presenter Isabella Kituli were some of the more than 36 employees who signed off.