Gaining back executive control of his news channel, Republic TV’s managing director and editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami has bought back a large chunk of shares held by Asianet News Media & Entertainment. Without divulging the financial details of the deal, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, who is a member of Parliament, and also a promoter of Asianet News Media & Entertainment, stated that he has made healthy returns on the investment.
In May, Republic TV will complete two years of operation. In this time period, it has reached a valuation of INR 1,200 Cr. The channel in February claimed that it has stayed as the number one English channel in terms of viewership for 100 weeks in a row.
With the signing of the buyback document, Republic TV has become an “editor controlled brand and I am very proud of its financial and audience leadership success,” Rajeev Chandrasekhar said.
Further commenting on the development, he said, “In purely financial terms too, this has been a successful investment. Post Arnab’s buying back of some shares, Asianet News Media will continue to support Republic, however, as a minority portfolio investor.”
Commenting on the development Arnab Goswami said that “Going forward as Republic Media Network, I look forward to diversifying and growing Republic across all platforms.”
Republic TV is still the most watched news channel in India according to ratings from the Broadcast Audience Research Council of India, which measures weekly TV viewership. Republic TV garnered 574K impressions for the week 20th April to 26th April followed by DD India, Times Now, India Today Television and CNN News 18. Republic Bharat, the Hindi news channel of the group is among the top 3 Hindi News Channels.
Goswami started Republic TV in 2017 after a fallout with Times Now, where he was the editor-in-chief. His resignation was said to be due to differences with owners of Bennett Coleman and Company Limited which owns Times Now. At the time Arnab was widely known for his show called NewsHour, and his catch phrase “Nation wants to know.”
In recent years, there has been a boom in news related startups in the country. Startups like Medianama and Dailyhunt are gaining rapid traction. Where apps such as UC News and News Point are backed by bigwigs (Alibaba and Times Internet Limited in this case), smaller companies such as Inshorts have carved out a considerable readership for themselves.