April 25th 2017

Media / Watchdog

There will be no sacred cows in job cuts, 'Star' editors told

As advertising revenues continue to fall across the industry, Radio Africa has found itself running a huge recurrent bill associated with non-performing editors who take home six figure salaries but, in the words of one insider, "can hardly write comprehensible copy on the most basic news event".

By Free Press Reporternewsdesk@kenyafreepress.comMonday, 06 Feb 2017 19:52 EAT

Logo of Classic 105, Radio Africa's most profitable unit.

Top managers of the Radio Africa Group, which publishes the Star newspaper among other journalism brands, are keeping their cards close to their chest amid tensions and anxiety at the company in the past week following reports that up 89 staff members will be axed this month. The managers held a closed-door meeting with selected editors today to assure them that decisions of the restructuring process will be "fair and in the best interests of the company".

However, according to a well-placed source at the company, some editors didn't welcome the message that their own jobs couldn't be assured. Some of the newspaper's editors have "fantastically good" relations with the company's principal managers, William Pike and Patrick Quarcoo, and so they expected that their own jobs would be safe.

This website reported in November that the Radio Africa Group would be retrenching up to 60 workers in the December-January period. While the decision on the cuts was delayed, the company last week officially confirmed to employees that it will be sending some of them home, and the cuts will be deeper than the 60 this website was initially informed about.

“The next phase of our change, begins this month. We have taken a comprehensive look at our operations and made the tough decisions necessary to focus the company on the significant and promising opportunities of the future,” Mr Quarcoo said in an email to staff on Friday, enumerating some of the new business channels as online radio.

As newspaper advertising revenues continue to fall across the industry, Radio Africa has found itself running a huge recurrent bill associated with dozens of non-performing, mostly senior, staff, including editors who take home six figure salaries but, in the words of one insider, "can hardly write comprehensible copy on the most basic news event".

It is expected that most of the jobs will be lost in the newspaper unit, given that Kiss 100, Classic 105 and a hot of its other radio stations are operating with substantial profits.

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