Nation Media Group have announced a series of cost cutting measures due to the effects of the Coronavirus disease. In a statement available to the public, the Group CEO Stephen Gitagama reiterated that there was need to change the Nation’s business model from print advertising and printing physical copies of the daily publications to ‘digital advertising, ePaper subscription and content-driven reader revenue with the objective of establishing leadership in the mobile publishing landscape in Africa’.
Gitagama indicated that the realities of the Covid-19 pandemic had necessitated this move as a strategy for the company to remain competitive in an increasingly digitised world. ”During this period, management has undertaken several cost-saving interventions to enable business continuity, ensure sustenance of livelihoods of staff and their dependents and continue delivery of services to customers”, the statement read in part.
The statement also revealed that the reorganisation would result in a reduction of the workforce starting from Friday July 3, 2020. ”It is an extremely difficult decision in view of the prevailing circumstances and we understand the impact this will have on those affected and their families. The exercise will be carried out with utmost respect to our affected colleagues and in adherence to Kenyan labour laws”. Those who have remained have had to be content with pay-cuts lasting up to December 2020.
The media industry has been hard hit by the tough economic times occasioned by the emergence of the Coronavirus pandemic. Just recently, Mediamax Network Limited laid off over 100 of its staff members in various departments across the country. Radio Africa Group which publishes the Star and owns several radio stations, also instituted pay-cuts ranging from 20% to 30% starting on April 2020. ”We managed to pay March salaries on time but our business is already seeing a major loss in advertising revenue from April”, the group CEO Patrick Quarco had intimated in a statement.