After the hush-hush announcement of the launch of CNN-IBN news channel, Times Group venture, Times Global Broadcasting Co Ltd, in which Reuters has a 26 per cent stake, seems geared up to launch its news channel ‘Times Now’, technical snags notwithstanding.
“We will be launching the channel very, very soon. We will come out with a completely prepared and superior product that will set new benchmarks in Indian news television space,” said Arnab Goswami, Vice-President and Editor-in-Chief, Times Now.
But, according to information available with exchange4media, the channel is yet to get the uplinking permission from the government. I&B Ministry sources told exchange4media that the issue was still going through the process of interministerial consultation and the channel had yet to be granted uplinking permission.
Declining to reveal details of why the channel had not been granted uplinking permission as yet, Goswami said, “There is no such big problem. We are following all the procedures and are expecting the uplinking permission very soon.”
Though the channel is yet to go on air, the website of the channel (www.timesnow.tv) has been live for over a month now.
With ‘Feel The News’ as its tagline, the channel promises up-to-the-minute global and Indian news and current affairs, urban trends, pop sociology, debates on relevant social issues, analysis of economic developments and entertainment programmes.
The channel has already roped in a very diverse group of talents. Besides Goswami, the other anchors of the channel include ex-CNBC hand and Assistant Stocks Editor, Harishree Mehta; Deputy News Editor Mini Menon; Rajat Sharma’s ex-aide, Sudha Sadanand; investigative journalist from Indian Express Navika Kumar; Deputy News Editor Sanjay Singh, well-known for breaking the Telgi scam; Senior News Editor Srinjoy Chowdhury; Fashion Expert Sujata Assomull, among others.
The channel will also have special anchors for its weekend shows like Geetanjali Kirloskar, Kunal Vijayakar, who will be anchoring a humorous show, theatre and film personality Lillete Dubey, defence analyst Maroof Raza, another CNBC hand, Noami Datta, and glamour and hospitality sector specialist Neety Singh.
One surprise package is Jonathan Brady, aka Ulta Pulta Nitin of Radio Mirchi. As first reported by exchange4media, Brady was finalised for Sardesai’s IBN channel, but it seems Times Group convinced him not to leave Radio Mirchi, and in return provided a platform on its own news channel for this high-aspiring talented anchor.