Editor-in-Chief of English TV news channel Times Now, Arnab Goswami, had resigned from the channel earlier this month. Arnab had virtually single-handedly taken Times Now to a position where it was the undisputed TRP leader in the English news market. Obviously, when it was revealed that he would be leaving, it came as big shock, and everybody had 2 questions:
1. What next for Arnab?
2. What next for Times Now?
In this report, we had tried to guess what Arnab could be upto next. And now it has been revealed what Times Now would do without Arnab.
Some were wondering whether Times Now would follow the route of Times of India, which is much softer on many issues. Of late, Arnab had strictly disassociated himself with other Times Group brands, especially Times of India. He announced that he didn’t support the Aman Ki Asha campaign by the group. So this would fit the narrative.
Social media today was also rife with rumours that Rajdeep Sardesai would be roped in at Times Now. This was probably based on the fact the his wife Sagarika Ghose is already with Times of India and now the entire Times Group could be their fiefdom. It would also go along with the thought that Times Now was seeking to re-position itself.
This of course would have led to Times Now losing a massive (if not the entire) chunk of their viewer base. While most other English language channels followed the unwritten leftist-liberal rules, Times Now had broken them, and a Rajdeep would have just ensured that Times Now would have become just another channel.
But now, these rumours have been quashed as none other than the Editor of News-X has revealed that Rahul Shivshankar who was an anchor and news editor at News-X would now move to Times Now:
Confirming that @RShivshankar is joining Times Now as Chief Editor. The best editor in the business moves on. All the best
— Chandni A Dabas (@chandniAD) November 21, 2016
This will probably be an astute move for both Times Now and Rahul Shivshankar. First of all, Shivshankar has modelled his approach to be very similar to Arnab. Both of them are very aggressive and tow similar editorial lines. So this would seem a natural promotion for him.
Times Now also seems to have realised that they have created a brand positioning for themselves, which cannot and should be changed overnight. Hence they have chosen Shivshankar, to possibly continue the tone and tenor of the channel, as managed by Arnab. It is also interesting to note that Shivshankar was a former Times Now employee and had worked along side Arnab.
Shivshankar though will have huge shoes to fill since Arnab was the sole eyeball-winner on Times Now and it remains to be seen if the audience will continue to be faithful to Times Now. Also, News X isn’t really anywhere close to the “Gold standard” in journalism. So will he be as credible a face as Arnab Goswami to Times Now’s millions of viewers? At least till Arnab starts his new venture, Times Now will hope that Shivshankar manages to catch the pulse of the nation.