People Daily gazumps Standard Group

How the Kenyatta Family-owned MediaMax beat the Moi Family-owned Standard Group to sign Top Editor Eric Obino

Mediamax Network Limited, the owners of The People Daily Newspaper, Kameme FM and K24 TV Station, scored a major scoop after hiring top-rated editor Eric Obino as new editorial director.

Mediamax, owned by the Kenyatta family, swooped Obino from the heavy-weight Standard Group who were just about to announce Obino’s appointment.

The unexpected move by Obino to join Mediamax left Standard Group directors with egg on the faces after apparently letting their pick for editorial director slip through their fingers.

The directors of the Moi family-owned media group had a few months ago settled on Obino to replace Joseph Odindo as the group’s editorial director/editor-in-chief.

Having gone through all the recruitment process and even agreed on terms, Obino was only “official announcement” away from being named the Standard Group editorial boss.

“Odindo had actually dictated the official statement to the secretary,” said a source close to the Standard Group board.

Apparently, just before the announcement, a group of editors, known in the media circles as the Kabarak Mafia, rushed to Gideon Moi to protest the move.

The Kabarak Mafia wanted one of their own to sit on the coveted desk of Standard Group editorial director.

After their campaign, it became a tug of war between Gideon and other board members.

“While the board wanted Obino, Gideon preferred Kipkoech Tanui,” said the source.

With the board members standing their ground, Gideon reportedly conceded and allowed the board to hire Obino.

Unbeknownst to the Standard Group, Mediamax were also interested in Obino, the former Sunday Nation Managing Editor.

Negotiations between Mediamax and Obino were swift and before Standard Group knew what hit them, Obino had been announced as Mediamax editorial director.

Sources told Business Illustrated that shocked Standard Group directors made frantic efforts to have Obino rescind his move to Mediamax, with no success.

As things stand, it appears Tanui will be appointed as Standard Group Editorial Director.