Standard Group Editorial Director Joseph Odindo, whose three-year term at the Mombasa Road-based media house ends on Friday, could make a surprise return to Nation Media Group (NMG) as Editor-in-Chief.
Reliable sources have revealed to Business Today that the NMG Board is seriously considering Odindo as a replacement for Tom Mshindi, whose tenure was terminated last Friday.
Odindo is a veteran at the twin towers where he served for about 30 years rising through the ranks from a trainee sub-editor to Group Editorial Director.
In a statement last Friday, NMG chairman Wilfred Kiboro said Mshindi will go into retirement with effect from December 31.
“The board notes with appreciation that he has been a key player as the company embarked on its transformation journey to transition from a purely legacy platform media house into an online first digital content company of the 21st century,” Kiboro said.
However, sources indicated his term could have been cut short because of his overbearing interference with editorial operations, which has seen key staffers including Weekend Editions Executive Editor Eric Obino edged out, as well as vested commercial and political interests.
However, when contacted Odindo said he has not been approached by NMG, adding he had seen such reports on blogs from as early as six months ago.
JO or Joe, as he is popularly known in the media world, is a former chairman of the Media Council of Kenya and sits on the board of The World Editor’s Forum, an affiliate of the World association of News Publishers. A newsroom veteran, he worked with The Standard as a young sub-editor in the 1980s.
In addition, he was the founding editor in 1994 of The East African, NMG’s regional weekly and served as chief sub-editor and later managing editor of the Daily Nation from 1999 to 2004.
Odindo holds an undergraduate degree from Kenyatta University and a Masters degree from University of Wales. He has also completed professional education programmes at the Harvard Business School and Cambridge University.