New text-only Russian news channel

The Kommersant publishing house unveiled its new TV channel last week, Kommersant TV, even though it has no conventional TV pictures as such.  Instead, the channel shows blocks of text with photo illustrations, rotating in importance.  The text shows political and financial news, the weather and so on.

“Whether or not this is television makes no difference to me – call it what you like. The most important thing is that it is being shown on TV. If you are ready to call it television, it is television, if not – then it is not television. You can call it a pot, if it suits you,” the MD, Demyan Kudryavstev, said in response to a request by Russia’s Interfax to explain this apparent contradiction.

BBC Monitoring quotes the channel’s editor in chief, Dmitriy Solopov, who is also the editor in chief of the Kommersant FM radio station, noting that “at least 70 per cent of staff work both for the TV and radio stations”. Solopov also said that the TV channel could be watched without sound. He said that it was expected that the TV channel would have “an audience with a high income and a high level of education – a TV channel for business people”.

Kommersant TV can be watched as part of the basic package on the NTV-Plus bouquet of channels. There are plans to make it accessible online in the near future.

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