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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Publishing House Pulls Plug on Segodnya

Tuesday's edition of the Segodnya newspaper, part of Vladimir Gusinsky's Media-MOST empire, was unexpectedly kept from going to press late Monday evening, the paper's editor Mikhail Berger told Ekho Moskvy radio.

Berger said the order to stop the presses came "in oral form" from Dmitry Biryukov, president of the Sem Dnei publishing house, which puts out the paper.

In a statement issued to Interfax late Monday, Sem Dnei said it was cutting off funding for the paper as of Tuesday.

Last month Segodnya fell victim to the conflict between Media-MOST and its shareholder and creditor Gazprom, when Biryukov announced his company would drop the daily.

Biryukov said the decision was made because the paper is a money-loser. Media-MOST, however, contended that the true reason behind the decision was government pressure resulting from Segodnya's criticism of the Kremlin.

The paper was set to cease publication as of May 1, but Monday's closing came as a surprise.

Ekho Moskvy quoted Berger as saying the decision was the logical "conclusion" of Gazprom's recent takeover of NTV and the "destruction of media critical of the powers that be."

Biryukov and Gazprom's media arm, Gazprom-Media, together hold a 50 percent plus one share majority stake in Sem Dnei, which also publishes the weekly Itogi current affairs magazine.

In its statement, Sem Dnei said it would hand over its stake in Segodnya to the paper's staff free of charge, in keeping with an earlier decision. The handover is to be confirmed at a shareholders meeting set for April 26.

Berger said the paper's journalists were considering an offer made Saturday by their colleagues at the Noviye Izvestia daily to publish some of Segodnya's stories on its pages.