When Janet Mbugua goes on air to read news on 800,000 shillings-a-month-pay on Citizen TV, the men and women behind the camera and autocue on a 44,000 shillings-a-month of the same currency may be tempted to super-impose a spooky montage behind her. And somehow, it is easy to sympathize with them.
“This is obscene and should not be accepted, people should start boycotting Citizen TV,” a prominent media owner told the Jackal News.In addition, Citizen TV is reported to have paid nearly five million shillings to free Mbugua from her contract in South Africa.
“Well, I have no comment on that and honestly, she better comes onboard with better stories otherwise, we shall not accept that. I was about to quit, but ….” said an employee of Citizen TV.
The news manager, Faridah Karoney, may not raise an issue if that happens, after all, the new on-air talent will be earning more than what S. K. Macharia, the station’s owner, is paying her to write the scripts that Mbugua will be reading.
News that Mbugua is joining Citizen TV on 803,000 shillings a month is shinning spotlight on how media owners in Kenya are willing to go to win/retain viewers and advertisers. At Citizen, it is bound to irritate reporters and the technical staff who have been on a go-slow seeking better pay.
If confirmed, she will be Kenya’s highest paid TV newsreader, beating the queen of radio, Caroline Mutoko, whose similar pay is inclusive of straining duties as Radio Africa Ltd marketing manager.
The 27-year-old Kenyan, an average news presenter by all standards, has been brought back to the country by SK Macharia, from South Africa’s ETV channel, at an unjustifiably huge cost. Sources told Jackal News that Royal Media Services paid ETV over 4.5 million Kenya shillings to free her up from ETV contract.
Before she left for South Africa in mid 2009, she worked with KTN and NTV television stations. Mbugua, together with Citizen TV’s Lilian Muli-Kanene (on a 255,000 shillings salary) and the hysterical Esther Arunga, used to be quite popular news girls on Kenyan TV in 2008/2009. She studied in Kenya, Malaysia and South Africa. In her recent job at ETV, Ms Mbugua used to read evening news.
ETV is a free-to-air TV channel, also with syndicated broadcasts in 13 African countries including in Kenya, on the non-descript Channel 2 ofthe Nation Media Group, the company running NTV.
Article by Jackal News