Russian liberal TV channel suspends opposition activist’s political talk show

Ksenia Sobchak file photo

(Interfax – April 22, 2013) The format of Russian TV presenter and opposition activist Kseniya Sobchak’s weekly political talk show “Gosdep-3”, aired on Internet and satellite Dozhd TV channel, will be changed, Interfax news agency reported on 22 April, quoting Dozhd managing director Natalya Sindeyeva.

“The programme is by no means being closed. We are suspending it in order to change its format. The format that we have does not work. We want to present the programme in a different way,” Sindeyeva told Interfax.

RIA Novosti news agency later quoted Sindeyeva as saying that the management of the TV channel wanted to change the format of the programme because it was not satisfied with its rating and that in the new season Sobchak would remain as presenter of the show.

General producer of Dozhd Yuriy Grymov, however, earlier on the same day told Gazprom-owned, editorially independent Ekho Moskvy radio station that it had not been decided yet whether Sobchak would remain as presenter of the programme and the issue “was being discussed”.

“This programme has effectively been closed at the end of this season. In the next season this programme will be changed and will be broadcast again. Now, at the end of this season, we are changing the studio, design and the structure of the programme, so the closure of the programme is related to the fact that we are trying to improve and will slightly change the concept of the programme,” Grymov said, as quoted by Ekho Moskvy news agency.

“It is planned to launch ‘Gosdep-4’ by September or by October,” he said. “Of course, the programme will be changed. But the essence and discussion of topical issues – this concept will be preserved. Though this programme has a fairly high rating, we think that we should go further,” Grymov added.