Recently, Radio Maisha, a popular radio station owned by Standard Group Limited, experienced an unexpected interruption in its broadcast that left listeners in Nairobi and various other parts of Kenya puzzled.
While the outage lasted for only five hours, it shed light on some of the underlying financial challenges the station has been grappling with.
An insider within Standard Group shared insights with Kenyans.co.ke into the situation.
According to the source, cost-cutting measures at the Mombasa Road station had led to insufficient maintenance of critical broadcasting infrastructure, including transmitters and satellite components.
One significant contributor to this issue was the termination of contracts with private contractors responsible for servicing these vital components.
The reason for this abrupt termination was Standard Group’s inability to meet its financial obligations, which left the contractors with no choice but to discontinue their services.
The outage itself was attributed to what the source described as a “sunspot,” a phenomenon that disrupts satellite signals by interfering with their normal data transmission.
While the interruption was relatively brief, it exposed a more extensive problem within the station’s infrastructure and maintenance capabilities.
Furthermore, the insider revealed that Radio Maisha has increasingly relied on technical consultants to manage the maintenance of its satellite systems
. Recent staff reductions, including the dismissal of four broadcast engineers out of a team of twelve, placed additional burdens on the remaining engineers.
They were tasked with ensuring that all signals were operational at maximum efficiency, a challenging responsibility given the station’s already strained resources.
Radio Maisha, which was established in 2010 as a Kiswahili-language station, has gained a dedicated following for its diverse content, encompassing news, entertainment, and current affairs.
However, the financial struggles faced by the media house have raised concerns and uncertainties among its journalists and employees.
In early September, Standard Group announced its second staff layoff in 2023, further underscoring the ongoing challenges faced by the organization.
As the media landscape continues to evolve, it remains to be seen how Standard Group and its assets, including Radio Maisha, will navigate these financial hurdles while striving to maintain their commitment to providing quality content to their audience.