The halls of Next Media have been buzzing with whispers and speculations as a mass exodus of employees has rocked the media house since the start of 2024. What could be causing this sudden departure of talent from one of Uganda's leading media conglomerates?

Sources within the Naguru-based media giant have revealed that at least 20 employees have bid farewell to Next Media, citing a mix of internal politics and a challenging economic climate as the primary reasons for their exit.

While staff turnover is not uncommon in any organization, the rate at which Next Media has seen its employees leave, especially within the editorial, digital, and marketing departments, is raising eyebrows. A staggering number of over 80 individuals have parted ways with the group between 2022 and 2024, leaving many wondering about the stability within the media powerhouse.

The media industry, much like other sectors, has faced significant challenges amid a tough economic environment. Major advertisers have tightened their budgets, leading to financial strain on media houses across the board. This financial pressure has reportedly resulted in delayed salaries for Next Media employees, with some sources claiming that paychecks are now arriving two weeks into the new month.

Adding to the financial woes, Next Media is also dealing with the weight of a substantial loan acquired from Stanbic Bank to fund the construction of its expansive headquarters. It's a delicate balancing act that has left many employees feeling the strain.

However, it's not just financial concerns that are causing ripples within Next Media. Reports of internal politics and power struggles have surfaced, with one former employee citing these issues as the main reason for their departure.

Among the notable exits is Ramathan Mbago, the former Head of Radio and General Manager for Sanyuka TV. Mbago, a seasoned media professional, officially bid farewell to Next Media at the end of March to focus on private business ventures.

In January alone, the media house saw the departure of key figures such as David Tumusiime, the former editor of Nile Post, Richard Tuwangye, a presenter on Next Radio, and Wisdom Kiyonga, a senior news producer.

March brought the biggest shock as Grace Mbabazi, recently promoted as Head of Sports Content, made a sudden exit. The departure of Oliviel Nakalembe, a talented news reporter known for her coverage of the tourism beat, and Jackie Mutesi, a rising star show host, further added to the turmoil.

The list of departed talent goes on, including names like Jackie Kirabo, a digital officer; Vaster Kubakurungi, a content officer; Racheal Barungi, head of Trade Marketing; Ernest Lusembo, a brand designer; and Ronald Kizza Kasoma, the head of sales at Sanyuka TV.

The media house also bid farewell to Lovinsa Namayanja, a transmission officer; Neslon Mboijana, special projects officer; Sheeba Karungi, client relations manager; and Joel Mutimba, among others.

As the dust settles on this mass exodus, questions linger about the future direction of Next Media and the impact of these departures on its operations. With whispers of discontent and internal strife, the once bustling corridors of Next Media now echo with uncertainty and intrigue.

Only time will tell how the media giant navigates these turbulent waters and whether it can regain its footing amidst the storm of departures and whispers of behind-the-scenes drama.

Stay tuned for more updates on the evolving saga at Next Media, where the headlines seem to be just as riveting behind the scenes as they are on the airwaves.

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