Mediamax Limited – owned radio station Milele FM has suffered a major blow after its key personalities tendered resignation letters to join a new radio station to be launched later this month in Nairobi.
The radio station which is owned by President Uhuru Kenyatta after it was acquired from media guru Granton Samboja is currently on its knees as key presenters have departed in what is likely to lead to its biggest downfall ever.
It can be remembered that two months ago, Milele FM under new management conducted a massive retrenchment that saw some presenters sent packing as new faces came in.
Among those sent home was Maggy Waithera whose place was taken by Shenaiza Ally.
Those who came in included veteran radio personality and former Milele FM presenter Vincent Ateya. Ateya had left Milele for Nation in what many believed was a fall-out with Titi Nagwala.
And now Ateya is yet again out, and is believed to be the man entrusted with the mantle to head the alleged new station, Qwetu FM.
Reports indicate that Qwetu FM will be launched on March 7, 2016, and will be based at Yaya Centre, Nairobi.
Others who are said to have dumped Uhuru Kenyatta’s station include news reader Omondi Job Onyango, comedian Mogaka and sports reader Joseph Maroa.
Others who have been approached by Qwetu FM include comedian Awinja and Newton Mudaki.
Samboja, the owner of the new station, also owns Taita radio station Anguo FM and is said to be eyeing the Taita-Taveta gubernatorial seat.
The latest comes as media houses are on a poaching spree ahead of the general election.
Citizen TV lately raided Standard Group and poached a number of top journalist. Among those poached included political reporters Sam Ogina and Mercy Kandie.
The duo is just a slice of a whole lot of political reporters that Royal Media services is rumored to be in the process of hiring. The move by Citizen TV to poach Sam Ogina and Mercy Kandie comes a few months after Anthony Ndiema, a senior reporter parted way with the Standard Group.
His resignation came as a blow to KTN, a company that had already lost some of its cream of reporters in Allan Namu and Ian Wafula.
Grapevine also has it that Uhuru Kenyatta-owned mediamax is at a late stage of buying out Ebru TV! Rumor has it that Mediamax CEO Ian Farnandez was last week at the Somanyolu Broadcasting Company (SBC) trying to strike a deal.
The move to buy out Ebru TV is pegged on the lackluster performance of the station. It’s lack of high quality content and inability to command viewership notwithstanding.
In an email sent to members of the staff in 2015, Ebru TV asked top journalists at the station to look for jobs elsewhere as the company was unable to keep them.