Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

Inside story: Why Arnab Goswami quit Times Now?

Jayakrishnan VU | November 2, 2016 8:56 am Print
Why did Times Now head Arnab Goswami resign as the editor in chief? Sources in the media house reveal the reason behind his sudden decision to quit the news channel. The channel claimed that his NewsHour was the highest watched English news show in the country.
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While some reports state that he is planning to start his own news venture, others reveal how differences between the Times of India group management and editor-in-chief of Times Now Arnab Goswami had begun to surface and ultimately led to the forced exit of “India’s most popular news anchor”. Arnab Goswami earlier today resigned as the editor-in-chief of news channel ‘Times Now’ and ever since rumor mills have been working overtime speculating about the reason behind his exit.

We decided to contact employees of the media house to find out what led to the development involving Arnab. On the condition of anonymity, sources revealed that falling TAM and BARC reports (television audience measurement systems) were the biggest reasons behind Arnab leaving Times Now.

In fact, some went on to state that he was actually asked to put his papers, contrary to what is being reported by the media. “Last three months have not been great for the news channel and that resulted in Arnab being sacked as the editor,” a source said.

Some sources state that as Arnab Goswami went overboard to grab eyeballs during the India-Pakistan tension recently, at times promoting war-like situation after Uri attack, he received a lot of flak from print journalists within the group. They also confirmed that the management opposed the stance taken by Arnab Goswami over some matters like that of Pakistani actors working in India.

His demand to oust Pakistani actors from India did not go down well with TOI management as Bollywood celebrities refused to give interviews and engage journalists from the media house in interactions, affecting the entire entertainment desk and primarily Filmfare magazine.

As a result of his shocking stand against Pakistani actors, which was highly criticised by intellectuals and seculars, many refused to participate in the channel’s primetime NewsHour debate presented by Arnab Goswami.

The channel, the sources said, got representation only from second rung political leaders after facing a boycott from eminent politicians who complained that Arnab conducted debates in a biased manner and did not allow them to speak.

Moreover, what was hurting the group most was the fact that major corporates, who in the past had generated ad revenue for the media group and were personal friends of people in the TOI management, complained about his rhetoric war-cry which was affecting the market situation. Some corporate and political leaders went to the extent of blaming Arnab for the dismal outlook of foreign investors who began feeling apprehensive about the climate of the market.

The biggest blow came when the Congress decided to boycott the channel. No Congress leader has shown interest in coming to the debates on the channel, revealed a source. Rubbing salt into the wounds was the decision by Congress-ruled states to withdraw ads on Times Now channel, affecting its revenue. This also affected the relations of ToI management with politicians.

Whether Arnab Goswami was sacked or is going to join hands with Rupert Murdoch and join Fox News, or is he quitting to start his own news venture is still to be seen. However, only the ToI management and Arnab Goswami know what is the reality of the situation. The nation wants to know Arnab!!!

 

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