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Arnab's Republic widens footprint on Facebook, Twitter

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NEW DELHI: The nation is warming up to the Republic. Former Times TV Network chief editor Arnab Goswami, who quit late 2016 the media house where he built his career, is now whipping up social media frenzy with his new news and media venture dubbed Republic News.

“The nation wants to know! We are now live on social. Until we hit your screens, track the revolution here! #RepublicOnSocial,” Republic or @republic tweeted on January 7, 2017 on its page that says it’s the official page of “India’s most awaited news venture” going on to add that “Republic is independent. Republic is global. Republic is disruptive. Republic is your movement. Join us.”

Republic News India’s Facebook page already has about 14,000 `Likes’, while the Twitter page (handle @Republic) has over 43,000 followers till the time of writing this report. And, the number is growing. Some five thousand followers got added to the Twitter page between January, 7 2017 evening and January 8, 2017 afternoon as tweets are getting pinned by a global PR company, probably hired to oversee external communications, and retweets happening by media personalities, including the likes of South Asia chief of world’s largest advertising company.

"I have placed my belief in the people of India. I believe in this republic. There is a reason why I have named it Republic - It's for the public, voice of the public, undiluted. And I promise you today that till my last day in this profession, I will not let down your faith in me. I am placing my belief in you." This is a message that has been attributed to Goswami on December 27, 2016 on the FB page of Republic News (@RepublicIndiaNews), which some observers described as mushy, theatrical and true to Goswami’s style.

The sugary social media messages of RepublicIndiaNews continued on FB in the new year: “The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written.’Best Hope' is the only word that is been reminded by me every new year evening. Wishing A Very Hopeful New Year Ahead to all my fans and well wishers. #HappyNewYear #Republic.” Both the Twitter and FB page carry a stylised photo of Goswami.

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The ‘About’ section of the FB page lists the owner/creator of the page as “News and Media House” and gives no other details or when the news venture likely to be launched.

Though Goswami doesn’t have FB or Twitter page under his personal name, a tradition he seems to have carried from his Times Now days in sharp contrast to some his fellow celeb TV news anchors who are hyper active on social media --- and get trolled heavily often by pro-government accounts --- the Twitter handle @Repubic thanked the social media platform for associating with it and handing out an official welcome to the about-to-be-launched news venture, which also added to the buzz creation.

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Goswami announced his decision to quit Times Now early November 2016 first to his editorial team after returning from a trip to the Maldives and later conveyed it to his corporate bosses, which riled many within the Times of India group who felt that the editorial head used the Times group to create a new platform for himself by posturing on issues that were blatantly pro-BJP government in New Delhi.

Meanwhile, media industry sources indicated that the application for Goswami’s news venture has been made to the government last month seeking at least various clearances to start a TV news channel. Though sketchy details are available, but the company lists a Kolkata-based businessman and a Bangalore-based media-entrepreneur-turned-politician as backers. This information could not be confirmed independently by Indiantelevision.com from the Republic or relevant government organisations.

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