Mark Masai, one of the finest and most polished news anchors at the NTV newsroom has been fired in the latest round of layoffs that have rocked the Nation Media Group (NMG).
Masai was let go as the hammer fell on the NTV newsroom on Thursday days after a host of top names in the Nation Center newspaper division were given their redundancy letters.
Sources within Twin Towers have intimated to Swala Nyeti that more top earners at the regional media house are scheduled to also face a similar fate this and next week.
The ongoing restructuring at NMG was announced on November 30 by Group CEO Stephen Gitagama, who dampened spirits at the media house by announcing the impending layoffs.
According to Gitagama, the “unsettling changes” by the Aga Khan-linked company were meant to help it survive the economic slump occasioned by Covid-19 and the global factors.
Masai, who anchored NTV news anchor and hosted Press Pass, was sacrificed alongside other big earners like Kenya Editors Guild President Churchill Otieno and Taifa Leo Managing Editor Peter Ngare.
The mass sackings of journalists are part of reforms being effected by Gitagama and NMG’s new Editorial Director Joe Ageyo, who recently joined the media house from Citizen Tv.
He joined NTV in 2008 at the young age of 22 to become one of the youngest in Kenya to anchor news during prime time and has only left NTV briefly for CCTV (now CGTN) before returning.
Even as NMG says the layoffs are meant to trim the payroll, insiders at NMG have told Swala Nyeti the sackings are meant to mollify the new administration to attract adverts from the state.
Among those who have urged Masai to remain steadfast is veteran scribe Mutuma Mathiu, who was recently demoted from Group Editorial Director to Consulting Editor to ease his exit due what insiders said was his closeness to the previous Uhuru Kenyatta government.
Sources have termed the ongoing changes at NMG as a “hostile takeover of the Nation newsroom by the NTV cartel” and ridding the company of scribes perceived to have been aligned to the previous President Uhuru Kenyatta regime and the Azimio La Umoja brigade.