The future of tens of journalists at Metropol TV now hangs in the balance after the station announced mass layoffs in a bid to stay afloat.
In a circular from Metropol Corporation CEO Gideon Kipyakwai and seen by Kenyans.co.ke, the management notified all staff of the rough economic times that the business channel was confronting, largely attributed to the pandemic.
As a result, the administration has scaled down the station’s operations by suspending some of its activities and would only be resumed if the situation stabilizes.
The CEO stated that all affected employees would be issued with a one-month notice in addition to the pending salaries accrued for the past months.
Journalists docked at a media centre while covering an event.
“In line with the company policies, all employees in the affected areas shall be given one-month notice or payment of one – month’s salary in lieu of notice.”
“A severance pay at the rate of 15 days’ pay for each completed year of service will be paid. This will be in addition to all pending salaries for the periods worked up to and including the date of termination, including all unutilized leave days earned,” read part of the notice.
The retained employees were notified that they would operate under a cost-efficient revised strategy.
“The Human Capital department will contact all affected employees and will provide all the necessary support. All your line managers are properly briefed and will ensure a smooth transition in this period. The retained staff will continue to operate Metropol TV under a low-cost revised strategy.”
The station has been facing financial constraints in the past few years, leading to delays in salary payments. A letter dated May 18, revealed that the employees were yet to receive payments from March 2022 to date.
In addition, employees were handed a special notice to give their landlords over rent arrears, requesting them to bear with the situation before it is resolved.
“We wish to confirm to you that the above-mentioned person is an employee of Comprehensive Business Media Limited. Please note that due to the negative impact the pandemic has had on the economy and business of Metropol, employee salaries have been delayed since March 2022 and this is likely to continue until circumstances improve. Any assistance accorded to him will be highly appreciated,” reads the letter in part.
In a letter dated April 28, 2022, the CEO had assured the employees that things would resume back to normalcy, listing some key milestones that needed to be achieved in order for the growth curve to go on an upward trajectory.
Metropol TV was officially launched in March 2019, as a 24-hour business channel, anchored on data and analytics to help investors make sound decisions.
During its launch, Metropol Corporation founder Sam Omukoko tapped the services of former Citizen TV’s business anchor Terryanne Chebet as its General Manager, before she quit in July 2020.
Other TV journalists that have had a stint at the JKUAT Towers-based channel include Kelvin Nyakundi who recently joined KTN News as an anchor and Nina Shabaan of NTV.
Ondiro Oganga, who runs one of the biggest stations in West Africa, Ghana One TV was also an anchor and reporter on Metropol TV until 2021.
Microphones set up for a press conference in Nairobi on Thursday, February 20, 2020.