Tensions are high at the Standard Group Plc after reports emerged that the media house has began the process of firing some of its journalists.
Sources from the Mombasa Road-based media house told Kenyans.co.ke that the axe has began falling on staff, some of whom have been at the station for decades.
The sources further indicated that most of the affected are journalists drawn from the TV division comprising KTN and KTN News as well as The Standard print division.
Among the affected is KTN Managing Editor Ellen Wanjiru and The Standard Sub-editor Anthony Malesi
The Standard Media Group Mombasa Road Offices . Thursday, October 14, 2019
Others are reporters Moses Njagi, KTN News Editor Patrick Injendi, John Atambo (Former Kakamega Bureau Chief) and Protus Onyango.
The source further intimated that more journalists at the station were on the chopping board in what the management termed as a redundancy move.
One of the casualties revealed that they received the letters on Sunday, November 29, ahead of their appearance before the Human Resource departments on Monday, November 30.
“The affected journalists received email communication yesterday informing them that they have been declared redundant. They were to have a virtual meeting today, but that was dropped this morning. They were then asked to avail themselves at the HR office to pick their letters. It’s a purge,” stated the source.
A senior editor confirmed that Monday was their last day and that the company proposed to pay the fired staff a redundancy package to be spread in four instalments but some of the affected journalists refused to sign threatening court action.
KTN News anchor Frank Otieno was, however, promoted to head the Education Desk at Standard Media Group alongside print journalist Austin Oduor.
The desk is part of Standard Group’s digital convergence as the media house focuses on growth and expanding its audience
The changes at Standard Media Group come months after a memo, in March, circulated at the media house notifying employees of a decision to declare 170 positions redundant.
At the time, the media group cited shifting media consumption trends as one of four reasons that necessitated the move to downsize the workforce.
Kenya Union of Journalists (KUJ) Secretary General Eric Oduor confirmed to Kenyans.co.ke that the union was contemplating legal action to stop the mass firing after issuing the station an ultimatum to explain itself.
“I have heard about it and I have asked the company to explain to us what is happening and if they don’t we will stop it by the court.
“We have given them until the close of business today to explain to us. We have called for a meeting to understand what is going on. Once we agree with them, then we shall see the way forward. We intend to go to court tomorrow,” stated Oduor.
Standard Group headquarters along Mombasa Road, Nairobi