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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Expert Gets Top Spot in Business Media Survey

Business Media Top 10
Rossiiskaya Gazeta
Ekonomika i Zhizn
Source: Russian Managers Association

Expert magazine has earned top honors for quality among hard copy Russian-language business publications in a survey by the Russian Managers Association, a Moscow-based lobby group.

"This is the first attempt in Russia to assess the quality of business publications," said Dmitry Zelenin, president of the 350-member RMA and a former senior executive at Norilsk Nickel. "Previous research focused on circulation and advertising market share."

In the Moscow-based survey, Expert was followed by Kommersant and Vedomosti. More than 200 publications were ranked on the basis of brand awareness, authority, inspired confidence and depth of analysis.

Expert is owned by Prof-Media, an arm of metals titan Vladimir Potanin's Interros empire.

Prof-Media also owns Izvestia, Komsomolskaya Pravda and Sovietsky Sport, as well as a 35 percent stake in Independent Media, Vedomosti's parent company.

Kommersant is affiliated with oligarch-in-exile Boris Berezovsky.

Of the top three, Kommersant enjoys the widest circulation, according to a TNS Gallup Media survey from late June, which put the newspaper's average issue readership at 113,100 people in Moscow alone. For comparison, 73,900 Muscovites read a given issue of Expert. Vedomosti follows with 53,400 readers.

For all their respectability, sports remain the more popular draw. The Sport-Express daily is read by 205,500 people in Moscow every day, according to the Gallup numbers.

The business media market remains in its infancy, RMA officials told reporters, something which can be seen in the large share of paid-for articles, commonly known as zakazukha, and newspapers often drift chameleon-style from one market niche to another.

In a study on business and the media published this year, the RMA estimated that zakazukha articles account for about 30 percent of all stories published -- a striking proportion that swells to twice as high in the regions.

RMA executive director Sergei Litovchenko said it is up to the government to reduce the level of irresponsible journalism, because it holds a stake in some 70 percent of all media outlets, many of which are based outside metropolitan areas.

For its debut ratings, the RMA sought the views of its members, of which 70 percent have a presence in the regions, and companies involved in its projects. Only one Western multinational firm, British-American Tobacco, was included in what was otherwise a Russian poll.

Foreign businesses like Deutsche Bank, Coca-Cola, Ernst & Young, Unilever and Danone were invited to take part in the poll but declined, RMA spokesman Alexander Grishunin said.

Zelenin said the media ratings will be updated every quarter.