In a development that is bound to shake up the Indian news media industry, Times Now and ET Now’s Editor in Chief Arnab Goswami has announced that he is quitting the Times Group.
“Independent media is going to thrive,”Goswami said while hinting at his future plans. Goswami said that he would not be quitting television media or the news industry adding, “The game has just begun.”
This phrase was repeated at least 15 times during the hour long speech, according to people privy to the announcement’s details.
It is likely that 1 November will be the last time Goswami’s 9pm Newshour debate will be aired on Times Now.
Goswami made the announcement in a room full of Times Now employees in Mumbai with the bureaus like Delhi joining via video conferencing. The channel staff responded with stunned silence. Goswami’s prime-time show is primarily responsible for Times Now’s consistent high ratings and his absence is likely to hurt Times Group’s 24x7 English news channel in a highly competitive market.
Started in 2005, it took Times Now a couple of years to catch up with Arnab leading the charge with his firebrand version of heated TV debates.
Goswami had recently returned from a week long vacation in Maldives.
Sources within the Times Group indicate that Arnab Goswami may have been in discussions with another organisation to set up a new television and digital news venture for the past six months. It was also indicated that at least a handful of Times Now employees will move to the new project along with him. In Arnab’s words, the new project will be a “formidable competition to BBC and CNN.”
Less than a year back, in a conference held by Russia Today, Arnab had talked about how the “hegemony of western media has to end.” Watch the video below.