Friday, 01 February 2013 06:34
Uhuru Kenyatta and his Jubilee team sent shockwaves across the country when it was revealed they were going to spend Ksh 10 Billion on campaign.
It has now emerged that Uhuru is not only looking to be Kenya’s fourth president but also dispose media mogul S.K Macharia from being the owner of the richest media owner in Kenya. Uhuru’s Media Max has reportedly poached senior reporters and anchors from Citizen TV and KTN’S Swahili news teams.
The anchors, journalists and technical crew have reportedly been offered lucrative deals that include hefty pay packages, allowances and other perks that were hard to turn down. Speaking to Vibeweekly a former Swahili reporter at Citizen says “ There was no way I was going to turn that offer down, the money they are offering me takes me three months to earn at my current workplace”
Swahili reporters who have given Media Max a nod include, Handas Ihachi, Duncan Khaemba ,Sports anchor Torome Tirike, Franklin Wambugu, Job Mwaura, Janet Chapia and Hellen Kimaru who had exited Citizen Tv earlier for a position of Public Relations Manager at Nairobi Women’s Hospital. Franklin Wambugu who also anchors Swahili news at Citizen will be heading the team at K24.
Media Max has not only raided Chaka Road for personnel, they have also taken quite a good number of the technical team from KTN who are currently fighting to regain the top spot. Kiswahili anchors Lulu Hassan, Ali Manzu and Ann Ngugi are also said to be making the move From Mombasa Rd to Longonot Place where K24 is based. Citizen’s Prime time new anchors Belinda Obura and Tom Mboya are also joining their Swahili counterparts to K24. It is alleged that the lowest paid reporter among the new entrants at K24 will be Ksh 250 000.
In his analysis on this exodus a media expert has claimed that this may be a move to counter Mr S.K Macharia’s decision to support Raila Odinga and CORD. This was a great blow to Uhuru Kenyatta’s presidential bid considering Citizen TV is the most viewed television in Kenya and as expected S.K Macharia’s influence would be felt in political circles.
One would ask why Media Max is focusing on the Kiswahili arm of news. Well, Citizen TV’s Swahili News, “Nipashe” is the most watched bulletin in the country which means crippling it would go a long way in reducing its influence and that is exactly what K24 has done. It is widely believed that audiences move with prominent or distinct “brands” from one station to the other as was the case when Citizen TV got Lilian Muli and Catherine Kasavuli from KTN.
Whether this is a ploy to win the elections or make K24 number one in Kenya remains to be seen but one thing is for sure, the battle lines have been drawn, Citizen will definitely not take this lying down, it would be interesting to see how Citizen TV’s Swahili editor Swaleh Mdoe reacts to this after losing almost an entire team.
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