Republic TV, led by popular prime-time news anchor Arnab Goswami, went live earlier Saturday. The channel’s broadcast began with a monologue by Goswami thanking the viewers for their ‘patience’ and explaining at length the reason behind the birth of the new channel.
“…when the unscrupulous legal notices came, you supported me. For that support, I am fortunate. The universe conspired to make this happen,” he said without naming anyone.
“Today this Saturday morning, we dedicate this channel to you, your faith, your belief and your love. We feel swayed in your affection…My team is raring to go and charged-up,” he added.
He ended his opening monologue saying, “We are a free channel in a free country propelled by your faith. This time, I am not going anywhere. I promise you.”
Republic opened with a story on a purported telephone conversation between RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav and Bihar strongman Syed Shahabuddin who is now lodged in jail on charges of murder.
Goswami, who anchored the 9 pm ‘The Newshour’ show on Times Now, resigned from the channel in November, last year and has been shoring up support for Republic TV over the last few months. Goswami, who began his career with The Telegraph newspaper in Kolkata, crossed over into the TV space when he joined NDTV. He became the editor-in-chief of Times Now when the channel was launched in 2006. The anchor is known for his confrontational and aggressive style of anchoring and has a dedicated base of viewers who tune in to watch his show every weekday at 9 pm. Goswami also ran an interview show called ‘Frankly Speaking with Arnab Goswami’ as part of which he has interviewed several famous personalities such as prime minister Narendra Modi and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi.
Republic TV will be ‘free-to-air’ and is part of the ARG Outlier Media Private Limited. Among its main investors are Rajya Sabha MP’s Rajeev Chandrashekar’s Asianet News Online Private Limited, and SARG Media Holding Private Limited which is owned by Goswami himself. In a first of its kind partnership, Republic TV will be made available on online streaming service Hotstar as well.