Mediaah!: Is Arnab Goswami the “over-the-top anchor” in the TOI ad?

23 Sep,2011

By Pradyuman Maheshwari


This is not the first time that someone from within the Bennett, Coleman & Co empire has taken on Arnab Goswami and Times Now. In the past, Prashant Panday went hammer and tongs at Arnab. The post was on Prashant’s Facebook wall, and didn’t beat about the bush. I must say I was quite surprised that the CEO of a group company which runs the very popular Radio Mirchi network could write all of it so openly (read: An open letter to Arnab ).

The fact that Prashant wrote it and still has his job speaks volumes for the internal democracy that exists in the group. Though my wicked brain thinks there’s more to it… especially when I saw this ad on the sports pages of the Mumbai edition. Chhota 15×3 ad, but very interesting.

You must read the text… all of it.


Heated discussions. Accusations and counter accusations. Provocative soundbytes. Panelists competing to outshout each other. Inflammatory visuals. Over-the-top anchors. That’s the stuff TV news is made of. But while it may stir your emotions, does it really leave you better informed about the subject being discussed? Probably not.

That’s where the print media comes in. Since we don’t labour under the tyranny of having to fill in news 24 hours a day, we can afford to be choosy about what we publish. Beyond the sound and fury of TV’s breaking news, we provide balance, perspective and sober discourse.

And nobody does it better that The Times of India, the world’s leading English newspaper.We give our readers accurate and balanced news, along with insightful analysis. And we ensure that all points of view are covered. So after you’ve been stirred and shaken by TV news at night, wake up to a bright new day. And get informed by The Times of India.







Not all of it is untrue. Panelists do outshout each other on news TV. Put Jayanthi Natarajan and Ravi Shankar Prasad in one discussion and there’s more noise and less discussion. Also you can be sure you won’t find all the news on television… esp the private channels. Doordarshan News has a lot more meat, but it is soooo boring.

What deserves another look and no real reading between the lines is a bit from the first para:

Heated discussions. Accusations and counter accusations. Provocative soundbytes. Panelists competing to outshout each other. Inflammatory visuals. Over-the-top anchors. That’s the stuff TV news is made of.

So let’s look at the people who dominate the nightly news on the English non-business news channels, which I guess is what the TOI ad is talking about: Rahul Kanwal (Headlines Today), Rajdeep Sardesai and Sagarika Ghose (CNN-IBN), Vikram Chandra, Barkha Dutt, Prannoy Roy (NDTV 24×7) and of course Arnab Goswami on Times Now. There’s also Rahul Shivshankar on NewsX, but my cable operator doesn’t offer the channel, so would reserve comment on him.

Rahul Kanwal is aggressive and provocative, but he is not sound and fury. Rajdeep has mellowed (and become very good once again), but Sagarika can go high-pitched. On NDTV, Dr Roy and Vikram C are exceedingly softspoken and can’t harm a fly. Barkha still attempts to ask some tough questions, but like Rajdeep isn’t what she used to be around the time of the Gujarat riots.

The one man who fits most of the attributes described in the Times (of India) ad is Arnab Goswami. I don’t agree with him being over-the-top, though there are many who believe so. I think he asks the tough questions, and is possibly the only one to do so day after day. Yes, he gets carried away, but needs to be cruel with our politicians. And even as I join others in lampooning Arnab for his the-nation-wants-to-know-line, the fact of the matter is that we all really want to know.

I do feel that Times Now overstretches itself on issues like Pakistan, China or racism, but heck we need it.  As for inflammatory visuals, I think the print media is also fairly irresponsible. Though the impact of television is a lot, lot more on the common man or woman.

Let’s keep this discussion on. Email Mediaah! at and I will carry the best comment here when I am back on Tuesday.



Pataudi, RIP


But for the time when he patted me on the back and gave me an autograph, I’ve never met him. But heard loads about him.

When the news of Tiger Pataudi’s passing came in last night, almost by reflex I called a colleague to check if we could get someone in adland to reminisce dealings with him for endorsements. Then we tried checking on his connections as editor of Sportsworld and for his stint at Dev Features. The Sportsworld team is scattered all over. There’s an interesting tribute by Derek O’Brien in The Telegraph.

I called Vivek Sengupta on reading his tweet, and finally convinced him to write a few lines. That was around midnight. Vivek may have turned into a public affairs and PR practitioner for a while, but he’s essentially a journo. He knew I wanted him to write, and sent his copy in an hour.

Meanwhile, we had no luck with getting an adman to write on Pataudi’s ads. But here are two of his TVC that I found on YouTube (the  first a rather long Gwalior Suitings ad and the other being the recent Lays TVC with Saif)

[youtube width=”350″ height=”260″][/youtube]








[youtube width=”350″ height=”260″][/youtube]





















Buzz me if you have a story to tell. Confidentiality assured. There are various ways you can reach me:

pradyumanm[at], 23050B5D,, @pmahesh, 98338 76278.

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4 responses to “Mediaah!: Is Arnab Goswami the “over-the-top anchor” in the TOI ad?”

  1. SP says:

    I feel most of the channels “overstretch”…Link of my blog post on TV Debates on English channels in India (Prime-time War(t)s):

  2. Tarun, UK says:

    Arnab. Man stop shouting and lose some of the Hitleresque hectoring skills.

  3. shakti(pune) says:

    The way Arnav involve in the show is just make the show amazing.he is just more than a host.Arnav is times now and vice versa

  4. Sumita says:

    Mr. Arnab Goswami,
    I would kindly request you to read this out in your debate.I reside in Canada and watch your debate sessions regularly. It is my earnest request that the rapists should not be hanged to death, but should be stoned to death at a special venue in India Gate by all the ladies of our country. This is what they deserve for the barbaric act that they demonstrated. So the punishment for the rapists should also be carried out in a barbaric manner, to set an example to our society. the way an innocent girl is suffering, the pain she is going through in every second of her life,the rapists should be made to realise before they breath their last breath.
    Thanking You
    Sumita BasuRay

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