Nation Media Group shuts down TV and radio stations

Nation Media Group (NMG) has scaled down its broadcasting services in a move that will see a big number of job cuts.

NMG shut down three of its media outlets namely QTV, Nation FM and the Rwanda-based K FM.

The group defended its decision, saying it was a necessary move to secure its business position in the market. The company has operations in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda.

"We are cognisant of the changing trends of how our products are being consumed. In line with this new reality, we are reorganising ourselves with the aim of transforming NMG into a 21st century company by embracing digital as the business model," a statement sent out reads in part.

The statement went ahead to explain that the rationalisation will entail consolidating the two television stations (NTV and QTV) into one strong multilingual station.

"We will also scale down our radio business (QFM and Nation FM) in Kenya and K FM in Rwanda. We will keep our signal alive and maintain an online presence in line with our new digital strategy," it added.

The rationalisation took effect yesterday. The company promised to provide the affected staff with support to help them with the transition.

"Regrettably, this will lead to redundancy of workforce," the statement read. Hundreds of staff will loose jobs directly beginning today.

The Kenya Union of Journalists (KUJ) has written to NMG accusing it of not following the law in declaring workers redundant as provided for under Section 40 of the Employment Act.

KUJ's lawyer Henry Oduor said NMG neglected and ignored the employees' rights as it issued "an illegal notice of less than a day".

"It is important to note that it is not the Employees who have become redundant but your institution," he said. KUJ has threatened to move to court if NMG does not rescind its decision to declare employees redundant.