Top Standard Group Editor Quits, Set to Join Rival


Standard Media Group City Desk Editor Roselyne Obala has quit the media house after 15 years at the Mombasa Road based Newspaper.

Ms Obala has joined a list of nearly 50 journalists and general staff who have exited Standard Group in the past two years.

She joins: Linda Ogutu (KTN Anchor) who left in December 2021, Kagure Gacheche (Editor/Writer), David Odongo (The Nairobian Writer), Peter Opondo (Head of Broadcast) David Ochami (Writer), Rawlings Otieno (Writer), Wilfred Ayaga (Writer), Moses Njagi (Writer), Protus Onyango (Writer) and Moses Michira (Writer), Faridah Mwaka (KTN Anchor), Lofty Matambo (KTN Anchor), Chrystal Onkeo (TV Producer), Mercy Orengo (Editor/Writer), Innocent Matara (TV producer), Paul Omondi (Revise Editor), Jeff Ogila (Digital Sub-editor), Patel Okumu (Digital Editor), Chris Waithaka (Lawyer), Peter Ndoria (Editor/Writer), Thorn Muli (Editor/Writer), Robin Toskin (Editor Sports), Ken Obura (Digital Sub-Editor), Hillary Orinde (Digital Sub-Editor), Atambo Ngoko (Former Kakamega Bureau Chief), Njambi Mungai (Head of SDE), Julian Kamau (Head of Social Media), William Osoro (Entertainment), John Aloso (Designer) Mark Obar (Digital), Derrick (Sub-Editor SDE), Felix Maringa (Producer), Caroline Mwangi (Continuity Editor), Hellen Wanjru (Managing Editor KTN), Anthony Malesi (Crazy Monday Editor), Paul Mwangi (Designer), Chris Musumba (Quality Editor Nairobi), Timothy Otieno (KTN Reporter).

Obala’s sudden resignation came just weeks after she was unceremoniously moved from the more glamorous Group Political Editor position – in a shake up that saw many senior editors moved downwards in the pecking order.

Some of the journalists who were left scratching their heads in confusion following the recent reshuffle – included Mr Kizito Namulanda who began his career as a Kiswahili Editor at the East African Publishers (EAP).

Kizito was moved from being the Group Head of Convergence to a less colorful position of Editor Broadcast, where he is in charge of innovation and content.

Namulanda was the Project Manager of the multi-million Standard Group transformation project, and served as the pioneer Intake Editor.

It was Namulanda who oversaw the much hyped convergence process that saw the over 100-year-old newsroom move into a modern, digitized news ecosystem styled after the BBC and CNN.

The changes saw Namulanda replaced by veteran newspaper journalist Nzau Musau, a scribe with the gift of the pen, as the Intake Editor.

Ms Sofia Wanuna – was also acrimoniously moved from acting Broadcast Editor, a position she was appointed to following the firing of veteran journalist Peter Opondo, back to the more humble position of Deputy Editor, Broadcast.

Wanuna’s appointment as acting Broadcast Editor (albeit in acting capacity, and which was made by Standard Group CEO Orlando Lyomu in an internal memo, saw her get invited to the the Super Desk table – the playing ground for top minds at the Standard Group, the likes of Kipkoech Tanui (Head of News), Charles Otieno (Editor Narobian/Head of Sports), Carol Kimutai (Digital Editor), Mr Makoha, Lilian Aluanga, Nzau Musau (Intake Editor), Wellington Nyongesa and John Bundotich converge daily to make important editorial decisions.

That Wanuna was moved back to the Deputy Editor, Broadcast, meant she had to leave the powerful table.

This was no doubt tough for Ms Wanuna who had also been deputizing Ms Obala at the Political Desk – before the reporter was yanked back to City Desk. But even so, Ms Wanuna was not elevated to head the desk – if anything she was Obala’s deputy.

Sources at Standard Group told that Obala did not take so kindly the decision to move her back to dry and boring City desk – where she headed a small team of Nairobi reporters while sitting at I&M offices.

It is intimated that Obala’s sudden departure was prompted by an alleged fallout with Group Editor-in-Chief, Mr Ochieng Rapuro.

It is alleged that Rapuro made disparaging remarks against Ms Obala after she returned from a work related trip abroad.

Rapuro was also opposed to Ms Obala’s weekly appearance on a political Talk Show on Ramogi Radio every Sunday.

In the show, Obala appeared alongside Citizen TV Editorial Director Mr Joe Ageyo – something Rapuro felt amounted to conflict of interest.

Mwanahabari understands that Ms Obala has been appearing in the said talk show for more than one year – and no one raised any issues.

Obala, a seasoned political reporter had gained experience in the field cultivating all manner of sources to enable her command the industry.

The Maseno University alumni who also holds a masters degree from the UoN is said to be headed to Nation Media Group’s NTV, as the organizing and planning editor.