Old Saint Basil's Cathedral in MoscowJohnson's Russia List title and scenes of Saint Petersburg
Excerpts from the JRL E-Mail Community :: Founded and Edited by David Johnson

New York Times
December 7, 2001
Control of Russian TV

To the Editor:

Regardless of the outcome of the legal dispute in Russia concerning the network TV-6, there will not be "virtual government control over national television" in Russia, as you reported in a Nov. 30 news article.

Gazprom, the energy company that is 38 percent owned by the Russian government, is committed to selling its media assets, including its 65 percent stake in NTV, Russia's largest independent television network. It has engaged an international investment bank and set Jan. 15, 2002, for the commencement of the sale process.

Moreover, an objective review of news reporting in the eight months since Gazprom took control of NTV after prior management defaulted on its loans would show the network provides Russia's most thorough and hard-hitting news coverage. This is reflected in the fact that, according to Gallup International, NTV's 7 p.m. newscast consistently tops TV-6's offering in Moscow and nationwide.

Chief Executive, NTV
Moscow, Nov. 30, 2001

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