Standard Group Boss Addresses Reports of Vybez Radio Closure

  • Social media was awash on Wednesday, December 7, with reports that Vybez Radio, one of Standard Media Group’s brands is set for closure as part of the drastic measures by the financially strapped giant.

    The reports also claimed that journalists within the media house would also be hit by a 50 percent pay cut on their salaries in 2023. 

    Online reports made reference to a meeting that was addressed by Standard Group CEO Orlando Lyomu on Wednesday, December 7. 

    The Standard Media Group Mombasa Road Offices . Thursday, October 14, 2019.

    The Standard Media Group Mombasa Road Offices . Thursday, October 14, 2019

    Simon Kiragu


    Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke, Tom Japanni, the Head of Radio at Standard Group Limited, however, disputed the reports and termed them as false. 

    “(They are) all untrue,” Japanni summarised the reports. 

    Sources privy to the matter confirmed that a meeting did occur on Wednesday morning, whereby the CEO discussed various issues pertaining to the company. 

    According to the sources, Lyomu affirmed that Vybez radio station was struggling in terms of revenue, and was making no money. While he did not expressly state that the channel would be shut down, he made it clear that the company would implement different strategies to save the brand. 

    The CEO also touched on the journalists going for three months without pay– pointing out that the staff would be assured of receiving a portion of their pay, before Christmas. 

    During the meeting, Lyomu also revealed cost-cutting measures surrounding the circulation of newspapers in remote areas would be effected. 

    “He did not say Vybez Radio would be closed, only mentioned that it has been struggling. And he said they’ll try to make sure everyone has ‘something’ before Christmas, not the full three months’ salary. 

    “As for circulation it’s true, he said that they’ll either try to find a more cost-effective way of getting papers to those areas or stop delivering them,” the source intimated. 

    Initial reports had indicated that the CEO had turned to a delay tactic in terms of salaries to allow impatient workers to fall off.

    Standard Media Group announced redundancy on Friday, September 30, signalling mass firing of employees.

    Vybez Radio was launched on August 20, 2019, alongside Spice FM in a bid to provide informative content that targetted different consumers left behind by many stations. The station is highly acclaimed for playing reggae and roots.

    Among the famous presenters at the station include Sheila Kwamboka (Kwambox), Nazizi Hirji and Henry Odindo (ZJ Heno). 

    Group CEO and Executive Director at The Standard Group PLC, Orlando Lyomu

    Group CEO and Executive Director at The Standard Group PLC, Orlando Lyomu


Jay Ndungu

Jay is a computer scientist and journalist with a passion for the intersection of technology and society. He has a background in computer science, developing a deep understanding of the technical aspects of the industry, including programming languages and software development methodologies. Currently, He writes for Nairobi Times, covering a wide range of topics including technology, politics, sports, and entertainment. With his unique combination of technical knowledge and journalistic experience, Jay brings a unique perspective to the stories he covers, able to explain complex technical concepts in an easy-to-understand manner. His work is dedicated to bridge the gap between technology and society, and to make people more aware of the potential of technology to make the world a better place.

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