'The game has just begun' - so said renowned journalist and broadcaster Arnab Goswami
after quitting as editor in chief of Times Now in October last year before announcing that he would launch a new media venture, named Republic.
Goswami who was often criticised for his abrasive style in anchoring and jingoism, has got Rajya Sabha MP and Bangalore-based media baron Rajeev Chandrasekhar
to invest in 'Republic'.
Arnab, himself, has not yet spelt out details any details, but according to reports published in The Indian Express
, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, vice-chairman of the NDA
in Kerala, is one of the largest investors in the venture.
Rajeev Chandrasekar and his 'Pro-India' stand
Rajeev Chandrasekar founded Jupiter Capital in 2005, with an initial investment of $100 million. Chandrasekhar currently has investments and managed assets of over $800 million in technology, media, hospitality and entertainment. Jupiter Entertainment Ventures Private Limited owns and operates media companies including Asianet News, Kannada Prabha and Suvarna News 24x7.
According to The Indian Express
, on September 21, Amit Gupta, CEO of Jupiter Capital, in an email to editorial heads wrote that all editorial talent to be hired should be "right of center in his / her editorial tonality", "Pro-India, Pro-Military", "aligned to Chairman’s ideology" (chairman being Chandrasekhar) and “well familiarised" with the chairman’s thoughts on "nationalism and governance". The email ended: “Offers being rolled out shall be summarised and shared with Chairman’s office as regards the credentials (only) and hiring managers have to ensure that the above has been ticked appropriately.”
The following day Amit Gupta requested the editorial heads to ignore the email.
Chandrasekar and his 'Pro-military' stand
Chandrasekhar’s Jupiter Capital also has investments in defence-related companies. Axiscades Engineering Technology Limited, a subsidiary of Jupiter, signed contracts with the Defence Ministry for supplying Aircraft Recognition Training Systems to the Army and IAF for 18 months and a multi-year annual maintenance contract in March 2016. He currently serves as member of the Parliament Standing Committee on Defence, Consultative Committee on Defence, the Central Advisory Committee for the National Cadet Corps
Chandrasekhar has been Rajya Sabha member from Karnataka since 2006, was appointed vice-chairman of NDA
in Kerala in September 2016.
Other investors in Goswami's 'Republic'
SARG Media Holding Private Limited, owned by Arnab Goswami
himself, is the main investor in ARG Outlier. Goswami's wife Samyabrata Ray and he are directors and own most of the equity.
14 other individuals and companies have investment so far.
Both Arnab and Chandrasekhar did not respond to The Indian Express' emails.
Arnab's farewell from Time Now
had shot to fame with his daily prime show 'The News Hour', through which he single-handedly brought Times Now to the fore of English News television in India. The show was the most watched news debate conducted in Goswami's unique style.
In his earlier statements, Goswami had hinted that he was interested in an ‘independent’ media venture. “Independent media is going to thrive,” Goswami had said while announcing his decision to resign from Times Now.
He also said that Republic will be a global media venture, 'parallel to the BBC and CNN."