Word broke this week that eNCA's prime time business news anchor, Arabile Gumede, will be leaving the local news channel at the end of May.
At eNCA, Gumede primarily anchored the business news segments on the prime time News Night. In 2014 he became the Friday anchor, and fill in anchor, of the channel's first daily dedicated business news programme, Moneyline.
On days when major economic stories broke, like rate announcements, Gumede would provide live coverage from the reserve bank and also file reports that aired throughout the day on eNCA and etv's news bulletins.
It hasn't been an easy ride for Gumede at eNCA. Reporter Thinus Ferreira once called Gumede; "the worst person in all of prime time news on South African television". OUCH. This because Gumede stumbled a lot in his early days and turned to overuse his apparent safe word "rather'.
Yanked from the anchor desk to his comfort zone of talking business, he has since found his rhythm and while I didn't really find him that interesting at first, I have since warmed up to him. Thus I was shocked to hear he is going to a channel I never watch.
Those in the know say Gumede's jump from eNCA to Bloomberg is a big gamble owing to the fact that in 2013, Eleni Giokos too made the jump from eNCA to Bloomberg (under its then new division, Bloomberg TV Africa). However, not too long after that, the entire division was shut and Eleni found herself freelancing in South Africa before being picked up by CNN last year.
There is no word on the circumstances surrounding Gumede's departure — is he looking for greener pasture or just jumping a hostile ship? The question stems from the fact that Gumede joins a few notable names [Robin Smith and Andrew Barnes come to mind] who have left eNCA in a short span of time.
Is eNCA in trouble? Are employees just not happy at the channel?