Nation Media Group(NMG) has announced plans to reduce its workforce, beginning tomorrow Friday, 3rd July 2020.
This is as the giant media house seeks to digitize its operations and develop new advertising revenue streams as the media business shifts to the digital space to survive effects of COVID-19.
A statement to staff from NMG Group CEO Stephen Gitagama said that besides the layoffs, the prevailing salary cuts will be extended to 31st December, 2020. The media house says this unavoidable action will be reviewed depending on how the firm performs as the COVID-19 situation evolves.
“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.
“This exercise will be carried out with utmost due respect to our employees and within the Kenyan laws. We will strive to provide all the necessary support to help them manage the transition,” said Clifford Machoka, Head of Corporate&Regulatory Affairs, NMG Group.
The media house said that the idea is to re-engineer its operations so as to accelerate the digital transition process.
Mr Gitagama disclosed that the Group seeks to change its business model from print advertising and physical reader copy to digital advertising, ePaper subscription, and content-driven reader revenue.
The firm seeks to establish its strength in the mobile publishing landscape while exploring other revenue streams in the digital space.
In the light of the COVID-19 outbreak, all the major media houses have shifted to digital publications as readers stay or work from home.
Advertisers have also changed their preferences to digital platforms, forcing media houses to rework their marketing and advertising teams.
“The Board of Directors, having reviewed the company’s performance forecast for the current trading period, has determined that the earnings for the financial year ending 31 December 2020, will be lower than the earnings for the previous year by at least twenty five percent,” said NMG while issuing a profit warning two months ago.
“We have made special arrangements for those affected to receive counseling support.
Colleagues outside Nairobi, who are affected, will be offered relocation assistance. The affected staff will receive medical cover for a period of two months until August 31, 2020. Thereafter, the company has negotiated a medical insurance scheme through its current provider, which those affected may opt to individually join.