VGTRK rings in the changes

November 20, 2009

The Russian state broadcaster VGTRK is to restructure its thematic channel Kultura, having already decided to close its channel Sport in January 2010.

Speaking to Kommersant, VGTRK’s general director Oleg Dobrodeyev said that Kultura, which was launched 12 years ago with the personal encouragement of the late President Boris Yeltsin, would remain commercial free.

However, its new director Sergiey Shumakov, appointed yesterday (November 19), would be required to make it into a “cultural, modern and balanced television.”

Kultura’s budget for 2009 amounted to just over R2 billion (€46.6 million), while its audience share is only in the region of 2-3%, or roughly a sixth of leading stations such as Channel 1, Rossiya and NTV.