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MOSCOW, November 20. /TASS/. A meeting of the Russian liberal radio station Echo of Moscow’s board of directors, due Friday, has been called off, chief editor Alexey Venediktov said after a meeting with Mikhail Lesin, the head of Gazprom Media, which owns a majority stake in the station.
“The Echo of Moscow board of directors meeting scheduled for November 21 has been canceled,” Venediktov told TASS on Wednesday.
Russian state-controlled energy giant Gazprom's media arm Gazprom Media, which owns about 67% of Echo of Moscow, initiated the board meeting in absentia that was due Friday. The agenda included three points: on the chief editor, on the editorial staff and on broadcasting format.
Earlier, Venediktov told TASS that his resignation could be discussed at the board meeting.
After Venediktov's meeting with Lesin on Wednesday, Gazprom Media said in a statement that the order for dismissal of Echo of Moscow host Alexander Plyushchev for a controversial tweet has been canceled. Simultaneously, Venediktov filed representations to suspend Plyushchev as radio host until January 14, 2015.
On November 5, Plyushchev posted in his Twitter microblog a controversial question about the recent death of deputy chairman of state-owned Vnesheconombank (VEB) Alexander Ivanov, who is a son of Russian presidential administration chief Sergey Ivanov. Later the journalist removed the tweet and apologized.
On November 6, Gazprom Media circulated a report that the management of the Echo of Moscow station decided to terminate the labor contract with Plyushchev “in connection with violation by the journalist of all acceptable moral and ethical norms.”
The radio station said in a response statement on its website that “the order on Plyushchev’s dismissal is out of line with the Echo of Moscow charter. In line with the document, no journalist may be fired without a representation and signature of the chief editor.