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Friday, October 16, 2009

Nation Group Crisis: How Serious?

For years any visitor to the old Nation House (along Tom Mboya street and opposite the Fire Station) would not have missed the aura of arrogance and invincibility that was very much present at Kenya’s highest circulating daily newspaper. Reporters walked with their heads high and enjoyed the effect that they got from the public whenever they introduced themselves as being from “The Nation.”

Well, we are told that pride comes before a fall and those who have been rubbed the wrong way by this arrogance have been waiting for the downfall of the Nation in vain. Instead the newspaper has grown into a multimedia giant stranding the entire region. But now, according to information and alarming figures that I have had the privilege of looking at, things have never been so bad at the Nation. The Nation group I am afraid is struggling and will face some very tough decisions in the very near future. So critical are these upcoming decisions that one wrong move could easily bring down this giant media company.

But what exactly went wrong?

Actually two major factors.

Firstly rapid changes in the way people receive news which executives at the Nation group brushed off with the usual “this is the Nation” arrogance, meaning that the newspaper and group was invincible to whatever else that would crash smaller less famous media companies. The situation has of course now changed with a much more sober look all round but many observers believe it may be too late. Newspapers and in particular the Daily Nation have always ruled (as far back as most people can remember) when it came to enjoying the lion’s share of advertising spend. Today Radio has taken over the throne and you can be sure that it is not radio stations owned by the Nation media group that get most of this advertising. Then the Internet came and caused so much chaos. (I was amazed the other day to discover that some locally-based Kenyans are now at the forefront of providing cheap traffic generating content for websites the world over). Coupled with cell phones which the vast majority of the Kenyan population own, the news frontier has completely changed and left old fashioned executives at the Nation stranded. Nothing illustrates this better than what happened shortly after the disputed 2007 presidential elections. At first most media houses were slow in reporting unfolding events (The Nation group is most guilty of this and to date nobody has explained why and how the accurate tallies of votes countrywide that were being compiled at the Nation Centre suddenly disappeared into thin air moments before the hurried “bedroom swearing in” of President Kibaki for a second term). But as the media hesitated, cell phones were still working and forwarded sms messages from citizens on the ground kept many Kenyans very well informed. Email carried these real time messages further and out to influential Kenyans in the Diaspora.

Secondly too many Kenyans have lost faith in the group as a neutral and independent media company and events leading up to and after the 2007 presidential elections fiasco have led many to position the newspaper as biased and even partisan and tribal in its’ approach to reporting news and informing the public. On this last point even those working at the Nation are convinced that many decisions at the media giant are made based purely on tribe. For instance a careful study of lists of senior staff layed off from the newspaper in recent months is extremely revealing. It shows clear and obvious favoritism for a certain leading tribe. Meaning that if you worked for the Nation and were not from a certain tribe your fate was more or less sealed long before the lists of those who were to be laid off were even compiled. A casual observer may disagree because the powerful position od Editorial Director has changed hands recently from long-serving Wamgethi Mwangi (A Kikuyu) to Joseph Odindo (a Luo). However the truth is that Odindo should have held this position at least 20 years ago but was overlooked because of his tribe. Now there was really no option (with sliding circulation changes and rapidly emerging challenges that can only be dealt with by an experienced old hand). Some insiders insist that even then Odindo will never enjoy the power of his predecessor. This dent in the image of the Nation group has been ruthlessly reflected in Daily Nation newspaper sales which in turn have also impacted on advertising sales.

Well, the buck stops at the desk of Chief Executive Officer Linus Gitahi (no mistaking what tribe he comes from—Kikuyu of course). Mr Gitahi has been trying to sell the “warship business strategy” to the board. The idea has been to protect the most valuable core brands by fighting small battles with small niche challengers and keeping them well away from the mother ship. Clearly this is hardly the strategy for the times, if the sales figures at the Nation group are anything to go by.

Then there are other unfolding events. The US government is at advanced stage of spreading their dreaded Visa bans to corporate individuals (my impeccable sources inform me). Top on their lists currently are Linus Gitahi and former Nation CEO Wilfred Kiboro. The reason why these individuals are listed is the subject of a post for another day. But for today, it is clear that developments like these will put the Nation group principal owners (like The Aga Khan) under increasing pressure to effect changes and go for a clean break with the current leadership that has only led the Nation media group from one crisis to another. Time will tell.

For now I must end this post by answering my own question. How serious is the crisis at the Nation group? Answer: More serious than most Kenyans would like to believe. Creative accounting can NOT mask dropping sales forever (one thing Nation accountants must be very grateful for right now are the numerous foreign subsidiaries that Wilfred Kiboro established) and sooner rather than later we will start to see the ominous signs on the balance sheet.

Kumekucha articles in the recent past about the Nation group;

Nation Media Group in Post-Election Genocide Conspiracy With The Police!
Insider Speaks Out

Why Nation Media’s Daily Metro failed

Incompetence and university degress at the Nation media group

Big changes at the Nation and what they mean


Anonymous said...

What do you expect to happen to a company whose managers engage in prostitution of the scale we read in the internet in 2006/07? Nation Centre has ceased being a source for accurate news and it has turned into a brothel.

Female staff are turned into sex pests by editors, topping the list being Wangethi Mwangi, who retired. It’s an open secret Wangethi and Joseph Odindo shared Adhiambo Odera, the Buzz Editor, who is incompetent and was placed there due to her performance in bed. Wangethi, Odindo and other Editors demand sex to hire or promote women. What shame. Word has it that Linus Gitahi has taken up from where Wangethi left and he changes girls like clothes. If you have any doubts, ask night watchmen.

On the accurate presidential figures? Linus walked into the newsroom when tallying was almost complete and ordered IT guys to delete everything and ordered editors to go with “official” ECK figures which had Kibaki leading. Nation figures had Raila leading with a wide margin.

Perhaps, Nation editors could start publishing a brothel newspaper as sex news sells like hot cakes.

Anonymous said...

Thinking on and acting on the basis of tribe will always result in disastrous, humiliating and embarrassing consequences.

Kumekucha, you have very ably informed us about the tribal shenanigans going on at the Nation group. Another example of how pumbavu tribalism is is what it currently going on in one Martha "defender" Karua's political life....

Without Martha "defender" Karua, Mwai "pumbavu" Kibaki - her tribesman whom she solely supported because of tribe - would not have managed to STEAL the elections of Dec '07 successfully and unfortunately cause the country to degenerate into chaos as a consequence.

We have it on authority from Karua herself that as she was "defending" her tribesman Kibaki - Kibaki's theft of the elections, actually, her fellow tribemen such as Uhuru "Millions of acres of grabbed and stolen land" Kenyatta, George Kinuthia "Goldenberg" Thaitoti and the rest of the PNU gang had gone into hiding with their tails between their legs and trembling like reeds in the wind.

Now look at what is happening to "defender" Karua.... This is what Mwai "pumbavu" Kibaki most likely thinks of her: Karua ni nani? Karua ni Pumbavu! Pumbaaaaaavu sana! .... Mavi ya Kuku. Pumbaaaaavu sana huyu mwanamke.

Kweli pride comes before a fall; Tribalism always f__k's one up and lastly, there is no honor among thieves, they end up f___ing one another up.

Anonymous said...

Yeah yeah. we are still waiting for Equity Bank to fall. Instead it keeps on winning international accolades.

If you get turned on by collapsing companies, maybe you should turn your attention to Standard. They got tossed out of I & M house.( Go check it out. This is not as unsubstantiated as your claims of 'struggling multi billion sh empire which by the way is owned by the Aga Khan.. wonder when he became a kikuyu) Interesting times indeed.

Hateful little minds. No wonder you wallow in poverty and despair blaming kikuyus for your laziness.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 3:28 said;

Yeah yeah. we are still waiting for Equity Bank to fall. Instead it keeps on winning international accolades.

Kwani when did Kumekucha predict that Equity is falling?? In fact the guy is a shameless ass-licker of Equity. Kwani you don't read this blog and didn't see these posts. (Ama is this Wangethi or Gitahi posting as annonymous?);

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:28 AM,

You said:

"....No wonder you wallow in poverty and despair blaming kikuyus for your laziness."

Implicit in your comment is that Kikuyu's are industrious, enterprising and enterprising... PUMBAFF!

Nothing could be further from the truth. You people are fuckin' born thieves.

Anonymous said...

We maybe thieves, but at least we dont sit with our hands on our backsides waiting for some messiah called Ojinga to deliver food into our mouths.

yes we are hard working and smart. thats why we have been kicking your lazy backsides since 1963.

Mta do wharrrrr?

Anonymous said...

Its interesting how the mind of a rabid kikuyu-phobic works

Multi billion shilling company, expanding into rwanda and Burundi, successful Tv and radio and newpaper business. Most visited website in East Africa - failing

Small outfit run by quacks who cant even piece together a sentence that does not have gema or kikuyu in it together. Almost nill advertising on newspaper, television station lags behind even recent day entrants such as citizen and family. Exodus of talent is almost the norm. Finally cant pay rent and are getting kicked out of the CBD offices - successful enterpise.

Do you wonder why Nyanza only leads in poverty and other negative indices?

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:55 AM,

Thanks for admitting what most of you refuse to admit despite it being obvious to all, namely that you are fuckin' born thieves.

You also say:

"yes we are hard working and smart. that's why we have been kicking your lazy backsides since 1963."

A small correction to this comment of yours: You have been fraudulent, thieving and deceptive since 1963. Those three traits are what have been the main drivers behind your so-called "industriousness", "enterprise" and "hardwork."

You people have dominated the country's leadership since 1963 and even during the mid 1970's when the south east asian tigers who were behind us started showing us dust economy and business wise. South Korea which was very behind us during that time now has an economy 40 times the size of Kenya's. So much for you so called industry, enterprise and hardwork.

Do not try to use Daniel "Kleptocrat" arap Moi's 24 year rule as an excuse. Events have confirmed that there was no real difference between Kenyatta, Moi and now Mwai Kibaki. There was Kenren and many other financial rip offs during the '60's and '70's. There was Goldenberg and many other financial rip offs during the '80's and '90's and during Kibaki time There has been angloleasing and many other financial rip offs which are still going on, no wonder Kibaki reappointed Aaron "impotent" Ringera at KACC to look the other way as the STEALING went on, a move that eventually flopped.

Bottom line: Your so called "hard working and smartness" is a giant HOAX. But then again, I do not expect you to understand. FRAUD, DECEPTION and THEFT are the main drivers of your "norms" and "values" - fuckin' born thieves!

You also said:

"Mta do wharrrrr?"

That smacks of impunity, misplaced pride and arrogance. Remember pride comes before a fall. Just look at the current tribulations that Martha Karua is going through - from her own tribesmen no less. The same tribulations - from your very own tribesmen and women will befall you in the near future. You remember the savage, macabre and ghoulish head chopping extravangzas that have been happening in central province, worse is awaiting you - from your own tribesmen.

Anonymous said...

Now the replys on this post are a copy reflection of what ails kenya. And we dare call ourselves a nation. We are very far from the truth.You have all missed the point fellows.
Tribal jingoism will and cannot take one anywhere.When we fall like during the last elections we fall as kenyans not kikuyus or kalenjins and when we rise as we did in the last olympics we are all proud together not as kalenjins but kenyans.
Untill such a time you will all realise that individuals should be judged as such and not by their tribe,you are of no help and better shut up your yaps. At this rate, we are headed for the apocalypse and final demise of kenya.

Anonymous said...

as the anon said, I would better be a thief than a begger with an inferiority complex.

At least thats dealing with your problems as opposed to some royal family coming to feed you, clothe you in return for unconditional worship and boot licking

I would be a kikuyu anyday. kicking luo backsides since 1963.

Na bado. Ngoja 2012, njia ni ile ile tu. you will come bck here with kamba epiphets for the next 10 years.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:46 AM again,

Oops, typo in the last sentence.

I meant extravaganzas and not "extravangzas" as in:

"You remember the savage, macabre and ghoulish head chopping extravaganzas that have been happening in central province, worse is awaiting you - from your own tribesmen."

Anonymous said...


kenya died a long time ago. We went to vote for odm because we thought it was a war aganist ruling elites. the people started burning children and peasants in churches. then Raila, the man i voted for went on air to justify those killings, I realised it was a war aganist kikuyus not aganist corruption, or whatever.

Look at the maize, triton scandals and undestand corruption will thrive as much with odm as without.

if they declare war on me, then so be it. We shall fight. I will not die begging. i will die with the blood of my foe on my sword.

Anonymous said...

Very well put anon 3:10,

"look at what is happening to "defender" Karua.... This is what Mwai "pumbavu" Kibaki most likely thinks of her: Karua ni nani? Karua ni Pumbavu! Pumbaaaaaavu sana! .... Mavi ya Kuku. Pumbaaaaavu sana huyu mwanamke.

Kweli pride comes before a fall; Tribalism always f__k's one up and lastly, there is no honor among thieves, they end up f___ing one another up.

This is what awaits all you Kyuk chauvinists. You will be gnashing your teeth and crying tears of blood.

Anonymous said...

What was the aim of this post? Were you trying to discredit the managers of DN or the newspaper itself? How about contacting the majority shareholder HHH Aga Khan and inform him what you have found and offer him solutions..maybe him and other shareholders will do something about it.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to the anon above for making that connection between Odinga and Ojinga!Ha ha,am still chuckling coz thats exactly how luos pronounce UJINGA...!!!2.Kyuks are never easily intimidated the way Raila rode roughshod over Orengo,Nyongo and Dalmas Otieno in luo-nyanza politics till they had to lick his smelly ass to be of any relevance and thats why Karua can defy Kibaki and still remain popular in Kirinyaga.For those shallow minded Raila-is-the-son-of-god fanatics,tell us what happened to independent minded politicians like Raphael Tuju and Shem Ochuodho?Seems there are people who still need molasses to say yes for the to fuck their own wives..!!!

Anonymous said...

anon 5:46 said that "mta do wharrrr" smacks of impunity, misplaced pride and arrogance.

Funny how guys throw around cliches picked from politicians and third rate newspapers. Be original!

Anonymous said...

This post came about to mask the real 'BREAKING NEWS' from Zimbambwe,that the MDC felt it coudnt continue living a lie to the citizens while the leaders were cozy in power!Do you even dream of ODM doing that in Kenya?Not in your life,as educated Kenyans throw tribal jibes at each other,their so called saviours in their half of government continue to line their pockets secure in the knowledge the supposed learned populace is too blinded by tribal affiliation to question excesses by those perceived to be their own!

M-Pesa said...

These Kikuyu bigots are just too funny. When things are working, they claim total ownership, when it appears rotten they bring in everyone else. So now we remember the Aga Khan, but the fact is the leadership of NMG is 97% Kikuyu and 3% madoadoa and other Kabila aduis

Anonymous said...

@anon 5.46am
A small correction ............ You have been fraudulent, thieving and deceptive since 1963. Those three traits are what have been the main drivers behind your so-called "industriousness", "enterprise" and "hardwork."

Then I guess there must be something to be said for being "fraudulent, thieving and deceptive"
If these are the main drivers behind kikuyu "industriousness", (sic) we probably need to do some research on this new economic phenomenon which defies logic..
That a people can prosper from criminal enterprise in spite of not having political clout to protect them during moi rule, and yet when the same people are kicked from there farms and businesses, the entire country faces starvation, and the GDP comes tumbling down.
Apparently these “fraudulent, thieving and deceptive” people are actual producers............In other words these people are industrious.

If it irks you that these people are fraudulent, thieving and deceptive you can choose to either join them in their thievery (ie lima shamba and save every penny and invest in more land and biashara) or you could file a criminal complaint and produce evidence .
Put up or shut up!

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:08 PM,

My sympathies to you. You clearly have a very distorted sense of reality.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10.08, am not sure why you are ranting and rving about kikuyus and Kibaki. Your little god Raila Ojinga gave the GCG a 90% grade and described Kibaki last Sunday as a 'Great reformer'

I think your kikuyu phobia has been overtaken by events. Your god has done one of his famous flips.

BTW he is campaigning in Central in the land of Kabila Aduis. We will listen to him, not throw stones etc like some primitive apes we all know.

But kura ni kwa kalonzo!

Anonymous said...

After Raila called Kikuyus "kabila adui," he now thinks he can come to Central and tell a tale or two and people line to vote for him as Luos do in Nyanza. He has no chance. Kikuyus worship God not fellow humans. The only way he can have a chance is for him to apologize first. Otherwise he can sing as much as he wants about Kikuyus being his in-laws but the people will vote their conscience and interests.

Anonymous said...

ODM hatred for Kalonzo comes from the fact that they know he is a huge threat.

A poll showed him at 49& with raila at 43%. Thats even before the hague trials that will take away ruto and with him the Kalenjin vote away.

He is not my inlaw. He can go to his real inlaws in Kisumu. I am a kabila adui, a madoadoa and a lesothonite. F***k Kenya.

it will be fun to see him beaten in 2012. I might enjoy it as much as I did in 2007. And since we are ready now, they can have a s much mass protests as they wish. Might finally be our chance to send them back west of Molo

Anonymous said...

I hope Taabu is not busy typing a story about the recent opinion polls published by Nation...oops..the same group in crisis???

Anonymous said...

Anon wacha uoga. Let taabu write what pleases him.

Anonymous said...

Dear KK,
I am an avid reader of this blog. But at as now I am confused. Confused because the comments on this blog don't tally with the topic of the day!
What I read was an issue on Nation Group facing some financial difficulties. That the management of Nation group is loopsided. Or rather favouring a specific community.
But I never read anywhere anything about Raira, ODM, PNU, Kifaki, Lou, Kikuyus harding and lous lazy!
How did this degenerate to name calling and tribalism? I thought that this blog is read by educated Kenyans! Not imbeciles fit for mkokoteni in markiti! Please allow me to express my disgust at people who resort to tribal tirade accussing lous and kikyuys of all manner of ills without providing an iota of evidence. Kindly restore the dignity of this blog as resourceful and authentic blog for ideas and not petty village squibbles.
Finally, no community in Kenya has the monopoly or hardwork. All are hard working and building the nation. If not this would take place in Kenya,....

Each one of us has our weaknesses. Has a blessed weekend. Remember all of us make Kenya. Otherwise we are all different communities

Anonymous said...

I thot NMG was a private enterprise or when did it become a public property??
I hope chris will write tomorrow why Spektra Company is 100% jaluos from Luo Nyanza.

Anonymous said...

Ati Kalonzo is leading in opinion polls. What a joke!!

Anonymous said...

Let Kikuyus who are threatening other people on this site know that the rest of us are not asleep and foolish. We are ready for any nyokonyoko.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9.03 kalonzo cant be ya supper tonight. Youve spent ya miserable life fixated on him versus chemical maize importer. Get a life or a job or go fishing. Opinion polls wont change ya mama's recipe.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:14

Matusi ya nini? Matusi out of nowhere sounds like a deranged person to me.

Anonymous said...

One thing that Kumekucha failed to say is why Kenyans should care whether or not the Nation Group is in crisis. Without that piece of reasoning, the article remains as empty (and as pungent)as the air he farts.

Anonymous said...

For all those delusional, primitive, tribal kikuyus who insist on their 'hardworking-ness' please refer to the following link from your beloved nation newspaper for a reality check...

sex for food in the heart of kikuyu land.mmmmm.....i wonder who is the 'hardworking' MP for nyeri again????

Anonymous said...

More shenanigans from our folks from Central as two hardworkers completely lose it

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:55,

It's here:

Anonymous said...

"Hard Working?" Kikuyus turn to selling asses in London for a living. Today's Nation Newspaper.

Anonymous said...

What is still keeping the tabloid gutter trash, that the Daily Nation is, afloat are the myriad of government contracts awarded to them - for being the loyal propaganda wing of PNU.

Time is however coming when most papers, like in the USA, Britain and elsewhere in the first world will serve specific regions - say the Washington post for Washington DC, The LA Times for LA etc.

Given it's dwindling fortunes in most parts of the country, I foresee the Daily Nation not having any major reach beyond central and parts of RV annexed by people originally from central.

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