There was a sigh of relief in some quarters and tears in the other when (now former) Times Now’s editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami had quit the organization at the fag-end of last year. Speculation was then rife whether Bloomberg or Fox was going to fund the larger-than-life editor. It turns out that the supporting cast of the Republic is rather desi.
According to a report in The Indian Express, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, an MP in the Rajya Sabha and the vice-chairman of the NDA in Kerala is one of Goswami’s biggest investors and a director at the up and coming media organization. The report mentions that the venture applied for an uplink and downlink of a news channel in November, about the same period when Goswami had quit BCCL’s news channel.
Goswami’s Republic is reportedly going to form part of ARG Outlier Media Private Limited, a company which is said to have Goswami as its managing director and Chandrasekhar has reportedly invested Rs 30 crore into it.
Chandrasekhar also owns Asianet News Online Private Limited which is an investor aside from Goswami’s SARG Media Holding Private Limited which is said to be the main investor in ARG Outlier.
Goswami and his wife are said to own most of SARG with other investors including Ranjan Ramdas Pai of Aarin Capital Partners, who has reportedly invested Rs 7.5 crore. Other investors are said to be Ramakanta Panda, the owner of the Asian Heart Institute in Mumbai who has invested Rs 5 crore, Hemendra Kothari with Rs 2.5 crore and R. Naresh and Shobhana Ramachandhran of TVS Tyres.
Chandrasekhar, the largest investor in the venture has large shareholdings in Asianet News Network from Kerala and in Suvarna News and Kannada Prabha from Karnataka. The MP had found himself in a soup recently when he had sent out an email which said that the pre-requisites for hiring editorial talent included that they should be “right of center in his / her editorial tonality”, “Pro-India, Pro-Military” and “aligned to Chairman’s ideology”.
Goswami’s news-venture has been making quite the splash on social media with the Republic’s Twitter handle already registering close to 78,000 followers and Goswami drumming up support in cities around the country. This is one bang that will definitely be heard.