Alpha Media Holdings (AMH) officials have finally decided to shut down its struggling Bulawayo based daily newspaper, Southern Eye publication and make it an insert in the NewsDay, Bulawayo24 News can reveal.
Speculation has been rife in media circles for months over the future of Southern Eye.
AMH officials have in recent weeks engaged in string of crisis meetings and eventually settled for an insert option.
Bulawayo24 News has been told by a a cluster of sources privy to the goings at Southern Eye that last Thursday Group Chief Editor Vincent Kahiya and Capita Resource manager Edith Kahinga travelled to Bulawayo to brief staff on the fate of the publication.
“We were shocked to hear Kahiya indicating that Southern Eye would from April be an insert in the NewsDay. The Southern Eye insert will be allocated four pages in the Newsday,” said sources.
“Only a week ago we were told that management had settled for a weekly but that seem to have changed overnight.
“So panic is in the air as the insert option might also change”.
Sources said there will be “massive job losses including journalists sent home” in the restructuring phase.
“Some journalist based in Bulawayo will be forced to relocate to Harare if they still want to keep their jobs,” added those in the know.
“No one is sure of their future.. its just panic in the air”.
“Management insist that Southern Eye will have a strong online presence,” said one source.
Recently there was a rumour that the publication will be turned into a weekly but it has since come to light that the publication will now be an insert in the Newsday.
Transport minister Obert Mpofu’s struggling Zimbabwe Mail was turned into a weekly in February.
Information reaching Bulawayo24 News is that Trevor Ncube has been under immense pressure from other board members to justify the existence of the struggling publication.
“Total closure was top on agenda,” said one source.
Southern Eye was launched on 3 June 2013.
AMH is partly-owned and funded by the New York-based Media Development Investment Fund, which also supports Trevor Ncube’s Mail & Guardian in South Africa.
AMH are the publishers of NewsDay, the Zimbabwe Independent, the Standard and the Southern Eye newspapers.
Last, year Ncube denied reports that Southern Eye was closing.