KBC Unveils New Look Ahead of Mega Re-Launch (PHOTOS)

The flagship brands: KBC Channel 1 TV, Radio Taifa and the KBC English Service all have a new look complete with a star-studded line up of presenters, in its efforts to offer refreshing, entertaining, captivating and nostalgic content that has been so dominant over the years.

KBC Unveils New Look Ahead of Mega Re-Launch (PHOTOS)

Following months of engagements, strategy and planning, national media house Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) is set to launch its revamped look on Monday, June 21.

The flagship brands: KBC Channel 1 TV, Radio Taifa and the KBC English Service all have a new look complete with a star-studded line up of presenters, in its efforts to offer refreshing, entertaining, captivating and nostalgic content that has been so dominant over the years.

This injection of freshness has been the talk of the town lately after the national broadcaster tapped top talent, including a team of legends who have dominated the media landscape for years, in an elaborate rebranding strategy that promises to up the stakes in the dynamic broadcast industry. To stoke up viewers' excitement, the hashtag #ThisisKBC trended as early as Sunday night, June 20, just 24 hours before the big reveal.

"Every day, viewers and listeners will enjoy rebranded comprehensive, investigative news bulletins from a line-up of young and seasoned veteran anchors who will spruce up the bulletins streamed in high definition. The return of celebrated seasoned anchors who dominated TV screens in the past is the absolute masterstroke," read KBC in a statement.

Anchors that will present the 7pm bulletin dubbed Darubini. /KBC DIGITAL

Among those veteran anchors that will grace the channel's screen after the relaunch include Tom Mboya, Catherine Kasavuli, Badi Muhsin, Cynthia Nyamai, Pauline Sheghu, John Kioria and Fayaz Kureish.

Other journalists set to be unveiled include former K24 TV anchors Ahmed Juma Bhalo, Fred Indimuli, Nancy Onyancha, Shiksha Arora and former NTV anchor Harith Salim.

It is the return of Catherine Kasavuli that has probably raised the most eyebrows following a seven-year sabbatical she took after serving as the 'mother of TV' in Kenya.

Kasavuli first aired news on KBC in 1985 when the station was known as Voice of Kenya (VOK). The soft-spoken and ever-smiling 59-year-old anchor has also worked at KTN and Citizen TV before taking a break.

She will host the special Saturday segment dubbed ‘Legends’ alongside Kureish, Muhsin and Sheghu, which will debut this coming Saturday, while Sunday Express will wrap up the week’s news events.

KBC Editor-in-Chief Samuel Maina stated on Monday that the changes have been informed by the market dynamics and changing audience needs.

“The ‘Legends’ is only on Saturday at 7pm and 9pm. The market has been yearning for these anchors. The Corporation decided to give them an opportunity to deliver our product to Kenyans.

Veteran anchor Catherine Kasavuli. /KBC DIGITAL

"They are also very experienced and will also be training our upcoming anchors to sharpen their anchoring skills," Maina said ahead of the relaunch.

Maina added that new technologies had been injected for quality broadcasting, adding that KBC has “invested a lot in software and hardware, a modern television anchoring set, and as such we will fully start broadcasting on High-Definition technology unlike before where we used to combine HD and SD."

Indeed, the broadcaster has invested in a state-of-the-art studio facility as part of its infrastructure upgrade strategy that will see new equipment sourced and obsolete kits retired.

KBC is also set to benefit from the supply of new equipment from its partner Multichoice in South Africa to boost on-screen appearance and enhance its Television production capacity.

In the line-up of changes to be unveiled, high-profile guests will be featured regularly as viewers stay informed on the day’s news between Monday and Wednesday on the Prime Edition, Business Insight on Thursday, and Easy Friday ahead of the new weekend.

The KBC channel one TV station has retained Darubini which will kick off the much-awaited launch at 7pm with renowned Swahili anchors Harith Salim and Nancy Onyancha, while Tom Mboya and Purity Museo will anchor new Prime Edition that premiers on Monday with a one-on-one interview with Amani National Congress (ANC) party leader Musalia Mudavadi with a focus on politics, his family life, his driving force and philosophy.

The revamped Darubini will also feature household names such as Ahmed Juma Bhalo, Beatrice Gatonye Ngetich on Tuesday and Wednesday, Salim and Onyancha on Friday before paving the way for Badi Muhsin and Pauline Shegu who will steer the special Kiswahili legend edition on Saturdays. Kamche Menza will wrap up the week on Sunday.

Veteran anchor Badi Muhsin. /KBC DIGITAL

For the English bulletins, John Jacob Kioria will make a comeback premiering on Wednesday alongside Serfine Achieng Ouma and on Sunday for Sunday Express and family show.

Business anchor Cynthia Nyamai will make her debut on Thursday with Business Insight alternating with Betty Kiptum and Carol Njenga while Easy Friday will be hosted by Fred Indimuli and Shiksha Arora.

In the meantime, Richard Munga and Daniel Wahome will continue handling sports matters. Jackline Wambiru and Irene Muchuma will present Lunch Time News, while O’brien Kimani and Regina Manyara will continue hosting BizCheck segment every Thursday at 10 am. Ben Troy Njue will host the NewsCheck mid-morning show every Tuesday and Wednesday.

Despite being fully funded by taxpayers and cultivating a niche as the oldest and largest media house in the country in terms of infrastructure and personnel, KBC has however fallen off the pecking order in terms of popularity amongst viewers, with other media stations such as Citizen TV, NTV, KTN, K24 and upcoming TV47 as well as Switch TV usurping them.

However the station has been showing flashes of regaining its lost glory by airing prime sports content such as the recently concluded English FA Cup. It is also known for airing the FIFA World Cup, Africa Cup of Nations, Olympic Games and the CAF Champions League. 

It will also show the upcoming World Rally Championship (WRC) Safari Rally set for June 24-27.

Amani National Congress (ANC) party leader Musalia Mudavadi will feature in KBC's relaunch on Monday, June 21 with an exclusive interview. /KBC DIGITAL