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The Legacy of Aggie Konde: Why NTV Uganda Will Hate and Love the Iron Lady

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Agnes Asiimwe Konde

By Our Reporter

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Last week, Msingi East Africa Limited appointed Agnes Asiimwe Konde as its Chief Executive Officer. This to many came as no surprise considering that Konde was on her way out, something we reported about months back. The restructuring of Nation Media Group has already cut her name out, with the merger of operations at NMG. Now that Konde is out, many have wondered, what will be the legacy of Konde at NTV Uganda?

Konde’s tenure at NTV was one of mixed reactions. She was a lady who succeeded in keeping NTV afloat yet miserably failed to give it that quantum leap. It was during her tenure that NBS TV became a force to reckon in Uganda and almost claimed NTV Uganda’s top spot.

Whereas Konde kept NTV profitable, much more profitable than how she found it, it backtracked on its core elements, its core defining factor of great visual content. It became another television station and not the NTV that everyone knew as NTV. Perhaps it was a puzzle too hard for Konde to solve. She could have been lost for options. Given her sales and marketing background, she could have thought more in terms of the monetary numbers. What Konde lacked was the editorial background to stir the ship that was NTV Uganda.

At the time of her exit, Konde leaves behind an NTV that is lost in the jungle. No one really knows what NTV stands for. It is as though Konde found an Apple Inc and succeeded in converting it into a Samsung. Konde in many ways bore similarities with John Sculley, the Pepsi executive who was recruited by Steve Jobs in 1983 to be Apple’s CEO. By the time Sculley left Apple, it was in the bottom of the rung as regards innovation. Sculley brought a manufacturing mentality to Apple, and so did Konde to NTV.

Konde also left behind a very divided newsroom. It is during her tenure that NTV Uganda lost all its big names to competition. Even its top shows became a shadow of their former self. Fourth Estate’s light dimmed when contrasted with NBS TV’s Front Line. What had gone wrong?

There were also rumours of nepotistic tendencies that had infected the NTV Uganda newsroom with a big percentage of the newsroom being made up majorly by one region of the country. In fact many explain that Konde’s replacement in the interim has been brought in to try to clear that image that had been formed about NTV. The journalists and presenters at NTV were all up in arms about their reducing living standards. For example the station demanded that all its anchors take vehicle financing loans and live up to the billing despite their pockets and wallets being in disagreement.

There was also a new wage policy where people earned money per show produced and not a monthly salary. Many TV presenters at the station felt that this was taking away their dignity. It was a nasty affair every end of week as presenters and anchors lined up with their 50K and 40K vouchers for shows made.

Konde also outsourced most production. In the end, NTV became just another platform. As long as one had a show idea, good or bad fully produced and the financials made sense to NTV, Konde would endorse that show. At least 90 percent of the shows on NTV were not internally produced, many were contractual arrangements. This many thought was not a sustainable route as a media enterprise always needed to keep its core elements internal.

But there were also bigger ventures at which NTV burned its fingers. One of those was Spark TV. At first, many thought NTV was starting a Luganda TV show to compete with Bukedde. Instead, NTV brought a show to target female viewers. But which demographic exactly? It was never clear, were they targeting urban corporate ladies, or the local woman in Kampala? Spark TV till today is one idea that NTV should never have executed. According to sources, Konde felt like she needed to be remembered for something. Her ego took precedence over the market reality. Today Spark TV remains another dead weight that should be killed off sooner than later.

Despite all the negatives, Konde succeeded at what she does best, ensuring that an organisation keeps profitable no matter the times. Whereas other TV stations suffered during economic downturns, this was not to be heard of at NTV Uganda. Konde ran a very lean TV station, it had less expenses because of its outsourcing and partnerships model. It did not have to spend on getting good content, it liberalised this front and gave everyone a chance at the channel. Perhaps, this was the only model that could have kept NTV afloat.

But now that Konde is out, NTV may have to rethink this model. Is it sustainable? Is NTV comfortable being another TV station or its high time it comes an innovative channel, as regards great content? NTV Uganda was always about great content, it was its differentiator. Will the new MD bring back this fire? Will NTV rediscover its core values or it has strayed too far from returning?

All together, Konde will be remembered as the MD who we hated that we loved. We hated that we loved her, but we also loved that we hated her. She was an iron lady, she was a fighter, but she did not have that founder’s charisma, she did not have the spirit to burn bridges and really get inventive and innovative. The only times she did, it was on a very egoistic venture such as Talent XP and Spark TV. She tried to target the female audience with her shows such as the Ugandan Second Chance and Be My Date, but these still fell short. Although she brought in the money, she made NTV Uganda lose its monopoly. She will be remembered in great light but she will also suffer from negative criticism for all the losses in content positioning. Konde’s legacy will be one of a swinging pendulum bob from great profits to very mediocre content. All the same, we are glad she was at NTV and wish her the very best on her new path.

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Celebrity Gossip

Bad Black Now Engaged, Ready for Wedding

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By Staff Writer

Bad Black aka Snail Baby got engaged last night after her mzungu lover officially proposed to her.

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Bad Black’s boyfriend aka brother was around to capture every moment with wild cheers.

The mzungu lover has also planned to use the last one weeek to buy Bad Black some chunks of land and has asked her to write a business proposal so he invests.

Congratulations Bad Black; ekyakuzaala kikugagawaza

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Is Lucky Mbabazi Becoming Unlucky or Hated?

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By Staff Writer

It seems all ladies with big asses have all of a sudden turned into motivational speakers.

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Gone are the days when all that hawt babes did was post their photos and pick a random quote of Marilyn Monroe. Now they have become thought leaders. They want to have a say of every topic. They want to be appreciated for their brains

The celebs we loved yesterday are fast becoming the most hated ones. Sheilah Gashumba morphed into a night king aka Uganda’s miley cyrus.

Now it is Lucky Mbabazi. People insist she should stick to shaking her booty in studio and stop playing the morality police officer on social media.

Well despite the backlash she keeps receiving, she claims not to be bothered. But we all know it is a lie.

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Geosteady and Norine Nabweteme’s DNA Results Are Out!

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By Staff Writer

Finally the DNA results of Geosteady and Nabweteme are out. The results come a day after Nabweteme apologized to Geosteady and got to meet the real father of her baby.

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The DNA results also confirm that indeed Geosteady is not the father of the baby. This of course doesn’t mean that the two have never made love. Even if they did, that love never resulted in a baby.

As such, get ready for the next Geosteady concerned and album launch named; “Nze ndi Steady.”

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