Tycoons Behind the Most Popular Media Houses in Kenya

From left: Collage image of Samuel Omukoko, S.K. Macharia, and Simeon Gicheru. |Photo| Courtesy|
From left: Collage image of Samuel Omukoko, S.K. Macharia, and Simeon Gicheru. |Photo| Courtesy|

By Isaac Blessings

The Media is a multi-billion shilling industry controlled by wealthy, influential and powerful individuals in the country. Over the years, the industry has rapidly grown thanks to advancements in technology, infrastructure and a subsequently growing digital audience.

Currently, Kenya has about 70 television station and hundreds of radio stations, which continue to grow by day.

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In this article, WoK takes a look at the owners of some of Kenya’s leading media stations.

Dr S.K Macharia

Billionaire businessman Samuel Kamau Macharia is the founder and owner of the Royal Media Services (RMS) group. The media house currently operates three television stations – Citizen TV, Inooro TV and the newly launched Ramogi TV.

SK Macharia Net Worth

RMS is home to 13 local radio stations namely; Radio Citizen, Inooro FM, Ramogi Fm, Hot 96, Musyi FM, Chamgei FM, Muuga FM, Egesa FM, Bahari FM, Mulembe FM, Wimwaro FM, Sulwe FM and Vuuka FM.

According to a report released by KARF in 2020, Citizen TV, launched in 1999, is arguably the most-watched television station in the country with an average of 1.7 million viewers every 30 minutes. This which represents about 35 per cent of all viewers in Kenya. Sister channel, Inooro TV which was launched in 2015 is also among the most-watched TV stations, commanding 17.2 per cent of the Central Kenya audience and and 5.1 per cent countrywide.

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Senator Gideon Moi

The baringo senator runs the Moi family owned Standard Media Group.

The Mombasa road-based media house, owns print newspaper, The Standard and operates four television Stations – KTN Home, KTN News, Farmers TV and KTN Burudani. SMG also operates radio stations; Radio Maisha, Vybz Radio and Spice FM.

Gideon Moi Net Worth, Business And Properties He Owns In Kenya And Abroad
Baringo County Senator Gideon Moi Photo/Nation Media Group

KTN Home which first went on air in 1990 was ranked as the third most-watched television station in Kenya. On the other hand, KTN News which was launched in 2015 with the vision of focusing on news, investigative pieces and current affairs, was ranked fourth in 2021.

Simeon Gicheru

Mount Kenya University (MKU) owner, Prof Simeon Gicheru, is the founder of Cape Media Limited. The media company which was launched in 2019, owns TV47 – a free-to-air 24-hour television channel that mainly broadcasts in English and Kiswahili.

The TV station which has studios in both Nairobi and Mombasa has attracted some of the best TV talents including comedians Chipukeezy who hosts the Chipukeezy show and Daniel ‘Churchill’ Ndambuki who hosts the popular Churchill show.

According to a Geopoll report released in 2021, the TV station boasts an audience of 1.4 million viewers in Nairobi and 3.6 million viewers in the Mount Kenya Region.

Andrew Ngirici

Billionaire businessman Andrew Ngirici and his wife, Kirinyaga County Woman Representative established Slopes Media Company in 2019. The Media entity owns the controversial Mount Kenya TV.

Kenyan Billionaires Who Never Studied Past Primary School
Andrew Ngirici and his wife Kirinyaga county Women Representative Purity Wangui Ngirici Image/Courtesy

The televisionstation which has been on the receiving end of criticism from Journalists and news anchors complaining of lack of pay.

Kevin Mulei

Businessman Kevin Mulei is the founder and owner of the popular NRG Radio. The radio station, which is popular among the youth, was the first visual radio station in Kenya. The audience can listen via radio or via its online page, and also watch live shows.

From a DJ to hosting events such as the then-popular Groove awards, and founding MO Sounds, Mulei has made a name for himself in the world of business and media. He also owns Choice Radio which airs on frequency 87.7, and Fun X Radio which airs on 91.3 FM.

Samuel Omukoko

He is the founder and owner of Metropol Corporation, which operates Metropol TV – Kenya’s first ever 24-hour business news channel.  The station which was launched in 2018 and mainly focuses on business news, analysis and entrepreneurial stories, has grown to become one of the most popular stations in the country.

Omukoko who is a former banker is the founder of Credit Rating Agency the pioneer of the Credit Reference Bureau (CRB).

Rodgers Kipembe Mpuru

Businessman Rodgers Kipembe Mpuru is the owner of the famous Meru TV. The television station which is popular among residents of the Mount Kenya region. In 2020, the media house poached some of the best journalists from popular stations such as Mt Kenya TV and Kameme TV.

Rodgers Mpuru [Photo|Courtesy]
Apart from Meru TV, the 33-year-old owns Theuri FM – an upcoming radio station that broadcasts in the Ameru vernacular language.

John Marete

The businessman owns Weru TV – a TV station that targets the Ameru speaking community. Marete launched the media house station after he was terminated from Citizen TV where he worked as the Head of the Camera unit.

The station which was launched in 2016 has grown to become one of the best TV stations in the entire Mount Kenya region. In June 2017, Marete launched Weru FM which equally became a success in the region.

He later decided to diversify and in 2021, Marete launched Mutongoi TV and Mutongoi FM – a TV and Radio station that broadcasts in the Kamba vernacular language. The stations are currently one of the leading stations in the Ukambani region.

Joshua Chepkwony

Billionaire Joshua Chepkwony alias CK Joshua is the founder and owner of Kass Media Group. The Media entity operates the famous Kass TV and Kass FM – a TV and Radio station that mainly broadcasts in the Kalenjin vernacular language.

Kass TV which was launched in 2005 became the first vernacular TV station in the country.

According to a report released in 2021, the station enjoys an average of 5.1 hours of views per week. Apart from Media, the billionaire is the owner of Jamii Telecommunications, Jamii Millings Company and Sergoit Holdings Limited.

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