Terryanne Chebet: Citizen TV Fired Me While Preparing to Interview CS

Popular Kenyan TV news anchor Terryanne Chebet who recently joined CNBC Africa has had lows and highs in her career as a journalist.

She has graced media screens in Kenya including KBCCitizen TV and Metropol TV at the 17th floor of JKUAT Towers along Kenyatta Avenue, where she doubled up as the station’s General Manager.

Born in Kitale, which is domiciled in the present Trans Nzoia County 43 years ago, Terryanne disclosed that she had an eventful childhood in the countryside but always admired the city life of Nairobi.She spoke during an interview with Mark Masai and Denis Okari on their YouTube show The Social Newsroom.

During the show, the veteran journalist went down the memory lane, to retell her career story and life experiences.

Losing Her Job

She recalled when she was relieved of her duties at Citizen TV, owned by the Royal Media Services (RMS).

“Nothing prepares you for how that feels like, I was supposed to interview a Cabinet Secretary at the time but I was sacked instead,” she revealed.

The business journalist stated that she was shocked at the time but was deeply indebted to her strong support system of family and friends that pulled her back to reality.

According to Terryanne, she wondered what would happen to her children, career and future.

“Just hearing the news crushed me. It crushed me from a very personal point because it’s one thing when you lose your job and it’s also another thing when you lose your job so publicly.

“Nothing prepares you for how that feels like, I was supposed to interview a Cabinet Secretary at the time but I was sacked instead.

I tried to be strong cause it was so public and came with different layers of doubt, I would cry the whole night wondering why they let me go,” 

She joined Citizen TV  in 2010 as an associate editor and Business Reporter. The journalist then moved to prime-time news, co-hosting Business Court on Wednesdays with Michael Njenga who later moved to Inooro TV , a Kikuyu vernacular outfit, under RMS’ portfolio of brands.

In 2018, she joined Fanaka TV as chief executive before serving as director at Scarlet Digital. The anchor then returned to TV  in 2019 at Metropol TV. The channel went bankrupt in 2022 and closed shop.

Changing Media Environment

Terryanne observed that the media industry was evolving at a significant rate noting that anchors of the yesteryears would not adopt today.

“News presenters of that time would never make it this time,

However, reporters would make better anchors as compared to those who head straight into anchoring,” she revealed.

She also put across her view on the future of journalism.

“Today anybody can be a journalist. Practically anybody with a phone, a YouTube channel, and a Twitter handle too, but I advise parents with kids interested in journalism to direct their children to pursue a different course first then journalism as a second degree or diploma.

Terryanne stated that readers today are diverse and specific in what they consume from the media.

“In the direction where things are going in media, there’s a lot of information that people are taking at a given moment,

People do not want to listen to a generalist, how deep can a journalist really go?

Knowledge of agriculture, IT, and business is essential to be effective in a career of a journalist,” she put across.

Being a parent

The mother of two went on to speak about getting pregnant with her youngest daughter, explaining that it was a difficult pregnancy from the start.

“First, I’m glad I had two children before I turned 40. Because I said to myself that I didn’t t want to be a 40-year-old walking around with a big stomach, 

It was a very difficult pregnancy. It was difficult from the beginning to the end. I thought I was gonna die, but now I can laugh about it.

On January 11, 2023, she announced her comeback to the screens, after a two-year break from the media industry.

She confirmed her return to CNBC Africa as a Senior Correspondent and intimated that she would be focusing on business news in Kenya as well as the African continent.

The media personality also runs her companies Keyara Botanics and The Pink Foundry while also MC’ing corporate events and other media-related gigs.