After almost six months of anticipation, Arnab Goswami’s new channel Republic TV went on air at 10 am on 7 May.
And on its very first day, stalwarts of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) put their weight behind the channel’s first news break – which also happened to be a ‘super exclusive’.
The story was an audio recording of an alleged conversation between RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav and criminal-turned-politician Mohammed Shahabuddin. Following this, the bigwigs of the BJP – the likes of Venkiah Naidu and Sushil Kumar Modi – came out in support of the channel, congratulating them on their ‘expose’ and wishing Arnab luck in his new venture.
Republic TV’s test broadcast had started a couple of days ago, with the red and yellow branding making it look very different from Arnab’s previous employer – Times Now. Two months after he quit the channel, Arnab announced that he would be starting an independent venture – Republic TV. At the time of announcement, there was no clear indication of who was funding his “independent” media venture.
Republic TV, in every hoarding, have mentioned “we are your voice”. But who is funding them to be “our voice
Arnab’s Own SARG
Apart from Chandrasekhar, the Indian Express reported that SARG Media Holding Private Limited, in which Goswami and his wife Samyabrata Ray Goswami are the major stakeholders, is also an investor.
Breaking Down SARG Investments
The largest investors in the SARG are Ranjan Ramdas Pai and Mohan Das Pai, who have invested Rs 7.5 crore. The duo co-founded Aarin Capital Partners.
Ramakanta Panda, owner of Asian Heart Institute in Mumbai, invested Rs 5 crore. R Naresh and Shobhana Ramachandhran of TVS Tyres, and Niranjan Shah, owner of Renaissance Jewellery in Mumbai and SRF Transnational Holdings, have invested Rs 2.5 crore each.