TV-6 returns to air as TVS

B'casting license covers Moscow, 23 other cities

MOSCOW — Staffers from Russia’s shuttered independent channel TV-6 will start broadcasting again on Saturday under the TVS logo, after clearing legal blocks that have dogged them since winning a March 27 license auction.

Russia’s Press Ministry issued a broadcasting license May 23, covering Moscow and 23 other cities.

The organization’s structure isn’t simple. Its supervisory body, titled Media-Socium, includes two noncommercial orgs, Russia’s Board of Trade and Industry (headed by former Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov) and the Russian Union of Industrialists and Businessman (led by Arkady Volsky).

Two other entities

Alongside these are the closed-stock company Channel 6, covering private investors, and the open-stock company TV-6, which manages the channel’s journalists under topper Yevgeny Kiselyev.

“We are building a real public television channel, on which neither oligarchic groups nor government lobbies will have influence,” Primakov said at the May 24 signing ceremony.

Whether that is possible remains to be seen. Already Moscow media observers are speculating whether the broad collection of political and financial interests will be able to work together in the long run.

For now, the channel is battling other problems.

Faces court challenge

One, which is likely to be resolved in its favor in court, is a challenge from the owners of TV-6, particularly majority shareholder Boris Berezovsky, prior to its being pulled off the air Jan. 21. Berezovsky claims the new station’s license should not be issued until the bankruptcy commission winding down the old TV-6 completes its work. Currently, its license is only “suspended.”

A more urgent problem is finding premises as well as technical and transmission facilities for the new channel.

However, programming seems to be under control, with the first splash of the summer season skedded to be the third installment of popular reality show “Behind the Glass: You’re in the Army Now.”