When Arnab Goswami announced his resignation as Editor-in-Chief and President News of popular news channels Times Now and ET Now on November 1, it was a given that he would also inevitably relinquish his hold over the channel’s flagship show, “The News Hour at 9”.
Times Now CEO MK Anand announced on Thursday that Friday would be Arnab Goswami’s last day at the channel. The CEO also added that Arnab would not be anchoring “The Newshour” anymore.
Sources say that a final hosting of the news debate, now considered synonymous with his belligerent anchoring, was supposed to air on Friday. The plan to have a 4 hour show on Friday has however now been shelved, with the management making their announcement.
In an emotional speech to the news pit delivered right after the CEO’s announcement, Arnab recalled how he and his team worked hard to bring up the channel that enjoys cult status among television viewers in the country. The newsroom then witnessed emotional scenes as Arnab and many others broke down.
Arnab has anchored the show since 2006 to stupendous TRP ratings. He had anchored the show on Monday night.
Anchors Niranjan Narayanaswamy and Tina Sharma have fronted the show during the last two days. These two editors and anchor Anand Narasimhan will host the show for now.
[ANAND NARASIMHAN : With a Mass Com diploma and an MBA under belt, from sales to advertising to broadcast Anand is one of the few in the media industry who have a 360degree understanding of the dynamics of the business of communication. He started out as a sports presenter with ESPN in Singapore and branched out into mainstream news with Times Now. One of the Sr Anchors at Times Now Anand is a constant feature on Primetime News Broadcast at the 8pm slot with The Blueprint, from their studios in Mumbai.]
Arnab’s tremendous popularity even among those who hated his autocratic stance, redefined prime-time news in India. With a few advertisers backing out of the show and others asking for a rate cut, BCCL bosses are busy charting the channel’s future.
The News Minute has learnt from sources that quite a few top anchors and editors from other channels have been interviewed.
The plan is to have at least two editors to be the faces of the channel, and another team to be in control of the rest of the channel’s functioning.
A few old timers of the channel are also expected to make a comeback.
(This article was originally published in The News Minute)