Posted by News Express | 3 July 2013 | 3,626 times
The hangman has started work at Nigeria’s leading tabloid, The Sun, barely two months after News Express exclusively reported that an earthquake was about to shake the ten-year-old newspaper group.
Not less than 130 staff, mostly journalists, had been sacked as at yesterday, with many more scheduled to go. All the title editors have also been replaced effective July 1, 2013, with Onuoha Ukeh (erstwhile Saturday Editor) replacing Steve Nwosu as Daily Editor; Onuoha’s erstwhile deputy Bruce Malogo taking over as Saturday Editor, and former Deputy Editor (News) Abdulfatah Oladeinde replacing Funke Egbemode as Sunday Editor. All removed editors have been assigned fresh duties.
In addition, four principal officers – Editorial Board Chairman, Dr. Amanze Obi; Executive Director, Technical, Alan Jones; Executive Director, Marketing, Paul Onyia; and Principal Human Resource Manager, Patrick Enilama – have been eased out as reported by News Express on April 27. They were given three months’ notice which ended on July 1.
“This is Hurricane Katrina,” said an insider who spoke with News Express. “In some of the editorial departments, the work force has been so reduced that the editors can hardly find people to work with.”
Other departments including Production and Advert are also affected by the gale of retrenchments.
As reported by News Express in two separate stories on April 27 and 28, the reorganisation is at the instance of SUN Publisher, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, a businessman and immediate past governor of Abia State, South-East Nigeria. Kalu handed down the order on April 23 during a surprise visit to the paper’s headquarters in Apapa, Lagos, South-West Nigeria. He believes The Sun to be over-staffed directed that about 30 per cent of the staff be weeded out.
Justifying the retrenchment exercise, a source close to Dr. Kalu told News Express that only dead woods were being shown the way out.
Contacted before our April stories, SUN Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief, Tony Onyima, who is presently holidaying abroad, had retorted said: “You are a journalist; why don’t you wait till it happens?” Asked what the affected officers did to warrant their sudden retirement, Onyima replied: “You have already made up your mind; don’t call me again!” He then cut off the line.
•Photo: SUN MD/EIC Tony Onyima.
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