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NTV fact file: From Gusinsky to Gazprom

Veteran NTV journalist Yevgeny Kiselyov, right, called the April 2001 reorganization "illegal"  

Founded in 1993 with funding by Vladimir Gusinsky's MOST Bank group, NTV is now Russia's largest independent broadcaster. More facts about NTV:

* Signal beamed 20 hours a day to potential audience of 110 million across Russia, Belarus, parts of Kazakhstan, Ukraine and the Baltic states.

* Reputed for its news operation, which remains its in-house production mainstay, NTV has diversified with popular entertainment programmes.

* Prime-time news show "Sevodnya" and weekly news commentary programme "Itogi" routinely get higher ratings in Moscow and European Russia than government-sponsored news fare.

NTV logo NTV: Russian media battle
  •  Putin accused of NTV plot
  •  Who owns what in Russia's media
  •  Shrinking free media
  •  Timeline of events
  •  NTV fact file
  •  Gazprom fact file
  •  VIDEO: Vladimir Guskinsky interview
  •  Profile: Boris Jordan
  •  Profile: Yevgeny Kiselyov
  •  Profile: Ted Turner
  •  Profile: Vladimir Gusinsky

* Programming consists of movies (37 percent), news (26 percent) and entertainment (25 percent). Advertising makes up 10 percent of airtime, and the balance (2 percent) is dead air.

* Demographic breakdown: Under 55 (60 percent plus), age 16-39 (27 percent), 40-54 (28 percent), 55-plus (38 percent), under 16 (6 percent).

* Top-rated programmes include the political satire show "Kukli" ("Puppets") and the interview programme "Geroi Dnia" ("Hero of the Day").

* NTV has news bureaus in more than half a dozen Russia cities and international correspondents in Washington; New York; Berlin; London; Riga, Latvia; Tel Aviv, Israel; and Paris, France.

* NTV's criticism of the government's conduct in the 1994-96 Chechen war launched the network's reputation as an independent voice.

* Its support of President Boris Yeltsin's 1996 re-election bid drew charges that NTV had fallen under the sway of politically connected financial backers, including Gusinsky's MOST Bank, Natsionalny Kredit and Stolichny Bank.

* On November 11, 1996, NTV began broadcasting on Channel 4 following Yeltsin's degree granting the station exclusive rights to the channel. Some critics saw the move as payback for NTV's support.

* Russian natural gas giant Gazprom's June 1996 purchase of a 30 percent stake in NTV caused consternation in Russian press. Gazprom general director Ryem Vyakhirev stoked concerns by saying, "[Gazprom] has been persistently pilloried [by the press] on various issues, and since we have over a million shareholders, and we need to talk to them, we're looking for ways to communicate, including television."

* In February 2000, veteran TV journalist Yevgeny Kiselyov was appointed as NTV general director, a function he performed until his ouster in the April 2001 boardroom coup by Gazprom.

Deal to decide NTV future
April 9, 2001
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April 8, 2001


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