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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

06/13/1996

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Officials Deny 'Sell-Out' of NTV to Gazprom

The chief executives of the state gas monopoly Gazprom and NTV Independent Television have explained a deal under which Gazprom will buy 30 percent of NTV as part of a satellite broadcasting joint venture, ducking charges the deal was a sell-out by NTV to the government. NTV president Igor Malashenko, speaking at a joint press conference Tuesday with Gazprom president Ryem Vyakhirev, said the point of the deal was to help NTV develop a satellite pay TV network capable of broadcasting five channels across Russia. Malashenko said the deal had nothing to do with editorial policy. ""Our viewers judge the merits of the NTV company by what they see on the screen, and nothing else,"" he said in response to charges that NTV was being bought by the government in the lead-up to the Jun 16 elections. ""The most dependent mass media are those who have to beg for grants and subsidies,"" he said.

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