Royal Media Services (RMS) is on the spot again, for the wrong reasons.
According to an employee who came out to vent against the company anonymously, junior employees who have been working behind the scenes are highly exploited, while the “celebrities” reap big at the expense of their juniors.
In an email that has leaked online, the technical staff who keep the company moving earn between Ksh50,000 and Ksh80,000, while news anchors earn as high as Ksh800,000.
Others like Jeff Koinange for instance, are rumoured to be earning well above Ksh2 million.
“Cameramen run all day, get into violent situations but they still can’t even afford a vehicle to drive to work. Producers spend hours on the desk editing content but they can’t afford an Uber (taxi) home when they get overwhelmed with work and work till late in the night,” wrote the employee.
“Technicians will work 24 hours, respond to failures at night, manage multiple sites but they can’t can’t even earn close to six figures?”
The disgruntled employee took issue with senior employees like Linus Kaikai, programmes director Fred Afune, Swale Mdoe, HR director Rose Wanjohi, Joe Ageyo, Francis Gachuri and Yvonne Okwara among other departmental heads.
The employee also took issue with 20 per cent salary cuts effected due to Covid-19, saying that the company had promised to reverse the cuts when things were good but has failed to meet its part of the bargain.
“We know that the 20 per cent salary reduction did not apply to everyone in the company and as we talk we know that there are individuals who pocket Ksh100,000 every weekend as entertainment allowance,” says the employee.
According to the leaked email, several employees have been resigning while others are already looking for greener pastures, spelling doom for the company in terms of talent retention.
“Royal Media might be going down soon. People are tirelessly looking for greener pastures,” the email reads.
In 2018, there was a stir at RMS as the company went on a poaching spree of employees from other media houses, of course with the promise of higher salaries better than those of existing employees.
Among those who were poached include Ageyo (from KTN), Kaikai (from NTV), Yvonne Okwara (news anchor, from KTN), Jamila Mohammed, Pamela Asigi, Rashid Abdallah and Nimrod Taabu (all from NTV).
It was rumoured that Hussein Mohammed, the former host for Newsnight resigned due to salary discrepancies with the new faces.
Another one, Enock Sikolia left silently to join CGTN.