Nation Media Group, reeling under slow growth in revenues and stubborn costs, has confirmed that it will soon be trimming more fat from its payroll to keep the company afloat.
In a statement which was also presented to staff at a company meeting today, NMG CEO Joe Muganda said the lay-off is a continuation of its restructuring to make the company lean enough to compete in a digital environment
“We have made critical strides, such as converging our newsrooms, launched new innovative products, developed new revenue streams while ensuring we secure our current print and broadcasting businesses,” Nation Media Group corporate and regulatory affairs head Clifford Machoka said in the statement.
Implementation of this strategy will continue to involve reorganization of the group’s operations, he said, a statement that will keep even those who will be spared the purge anxious. “Regrettably,” he adds, “this will result in the reduction of our work force.”
The NMG human resources department has already submitted a list of 140 names whose emails are to be switched off on 31st January 2018 or earlier depending on how fast HR clears with individuals affected. After the process, HR will selectively pick out names of those whose access will be restored.
Most of those on the list are contract employees and a larger number of staff from across its departments, including editorial, marketing & advertising, circulation, management and production/print.
Although Nation management did not reveal how many people would be affected, a scope of 140 will certainly result in big numbers being sent home. Letters are expected to start being issued as early as this week.
Offloading some staff is hopefully expected to give relief to the company in an industry where revenues have been falling. Among the big heads going is the CEO Joe Muganda, who is already serving notice until end of January.
Coming after general elections, which come with huge revenues for media, and the fact that management says it has created new revenue streams makes it ironical for a media house should be firing employees barely two months later. Standard Group media implemented its layoff last year before Christmas, with 40 employees sacked, among them 10 journalists.
Under such circumstances, job security in media is no longer assured. Little wonder then that many journalists are fleeing newsrooms into the safety of air-conditioned boardrooms of corporates and public relations and communication agencies.