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President approves members of public television supervisory board

July 19, 2012, 14:02 UTC+3

The ruling party approved this project, while the opposition criticizes it and experts express concern over prospects for the channel’s development

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MOSCOW, July 19 (Itar-Tass) — On Wednesday President Vladimir Putin approved members of the Public Television Supervisory Board and appointed President of the International TV Academy Anatoly Lysenko its director-general. The ruling party approved this project, while the opposition criticizes it and experts express concern over prospects for the channel’s development.

The Supervisory Board includes 25 famous TV and public figures, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily reported. Among its members are also church representatives – the first deputy chair of the Russian Orthodox Church’s education committee, Archpriest Maxim Kozlov, and editor-in-chief of the Orthodox Foma journal Vladimir Legoida, who heads the Holy Synod’s information department, as well as sociologist Alexander Oslon, editor-in-chief of the Zavtra (Tomorrow) newspaper, Alexander Prokhanov, and doctor Leonid Roshal. On this list are also partially forgotten names, for instance – Gennady Seleznev, former speaker of the State Duma.

Anatoly Lysenko believes that the new channel’s audience will be not be a large one. “Such channels never have a big audience, they never compete with federal channels. We have a different task.” He expressed no optimism over his appointment. “I feel most probably pessimistic. But I hope for the better.” “I face a very difficult task. And probably, not one task. What should I do first of all? What to show, what to talk about,” Lysenko said. “And the main thing is how to gather a team.”

On Wednesday the Federation Council approved the law on the creation of the Supervisory Board, the daily wrote. A new non-profit organization set up to run the Public Television will get the right to make an announcement about public collection of funds to form a special purpose capital, while ordinary non-profit organizations can collect funds only to refill this capital.

“Public television is a good idea,” the head of the Fund for Effective Politics, Gleb Pavlovsky, told the daily. “But it is necessary to begin from a concept.” However, he noted that everything may turn unexpectedly. “No good was expected from Kultura TV, but in principle we’ve got a good commercial channel.”

It is still unclear how the channel will function, the Kommersant business daily reported. Initially, there were plans to create it on the basis of Zvezda TV channel owned by the Defence Ministry, which makes no haste to leave this channel. It is not ruled out that the launch of the channel scheduled for January 1, 2013, will be postponed. Anatoly Lysenko did not rule out that the launch date should be put off for May for “technical reasons.” Moreover, the director-general still makes no statements, whom he will take to his team, he also makes no mention of the terms for the Supervisory Board’s creation.

The president of the Public Opinion Foundation, Alexander Oslon, who also became a member of the Supervisory Board compared television with a zoo. “There are so many details, when you pass by, you see one thing on the left, and an elephant waving his trunk on the right. The country has no experts who are responsible for the zoo’s interior arrangement. We will try to do something of our own,” he said.

Russia Today editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan described Alexei Lysenko as a respected and wise person who has a years-long TV experience. “I believe that he will manage to create the channel that will clearly react to public moods and will not chase ratings preferring TV series and entertainment programs to important topics.”

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