The Nation Media Group, an East African Media Hub that houses Daily Monitor, NTV Uganda among other outlets in Uganda has announced the due to uncertainty of its business as the impact of Covid-19 continues to strikes hard.
Following the Covid-19 post-impact period, they are set to re-organize business business to become more efficient, a polite indication that several of its employees will be laid off.
In a statement released on Thursday, March 25, 2021, the company’s Managing Director in Uganda, Mr. Tony Glencross, said its performance had been greatly affected by Covid-19 and even the several cost-cutting measures instituted had not been quite successful.
he noted that under the circumstances, the company will have to make radical changes in its operations and change its business model from “traditional advertising to content-driven revenue.”
This, he said, will “regrettably… result in a reduction of our workforce effective Wednesday, March 31, 2021.”
“This is an extremely difficult decision especially in view of the prevailing circumstances and the impact it will have on those affected and their families,” Glencross’ statement read in part.
NMG said that it will offer counselling services to those affected by the changes in addition to medical insurance until the end of June this year.
While the letter did not indicate how many employees will be affected by the change, multiple sources at Daily Monitor told this website that more than 40 employees could lose their jobs across various departments and NMG units.
The sources said that the letter and news had created fear and nail-biting anxiety within the Daily Monitor newsroom, which employs more than 70 people.
As the organisation prepares to adopt the “digital first” approach, it is feared that the newspaper division could take the biggest hit. Other sources said that senior staff who are paid highly could be the first victims.
In Uganda, NMG runs Daily Monitor, East African NTV Uganda, Spark TV KFM, Ennyanda and Ddembe FM.
“People are worried since many have families to fend for and children to look after. We are just praying,” said a journalist who has worked at Daily Monitor for more than 15 years.
Nation Media Group, like several media organisations in the region, have battled several challenges in the last couple of years including a fall in circulation for its newspaper products, declining advertising revenue a harsh economic environment and the proliferation of social media platforms, where people have overnight, become writers, editors and publishers.
The challenges were aggravated by the Covid-19 pandemic that peaked last March, which forced many of them to scale down on their operations.
In August last year, the Nation Media Group issued a profit warning citing tough economic environment due to the coronavirus pandemic. The group said then that it expected earnings to drop by more than 25 percent.