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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

'Namedni' Gets TV Press Award

MTMoscow Times cartoonist Viktor Bogorad, left, presenting Viktor Shenderovich with a cartoon at the awards ceremony Friday.
Leonid Parfyonov's "Namedni," CTC television and the "Idiot" mini-series were the winners at the third annual TV Press awards Friday.

The prizes were presented by the Television Press Club, whose 16 members represent 13 newspapers and magazines, including Kommersant, Izvestia, The Moscow Times, Gazeta.ru and Radio Liberty. Winners received a plaque from the Russian Television Academy and a sketch by Moscow Times cartoonist Viktor Bogorad.

The jury presented the personality of the year award to the reporters of NTV's "Namedni" for bringing "new heights to an old genre." "Namedni," which offers a blend of political, business and entertainment news, was named the best program at last year's ceremony. This year the jury did not hand out that award after no contender received more than 50 percent of the vote.

CTC general director Alexander Rodnyansky also was named personality of the year for being "a serious manager of an entertainment channel." The channel, known for its game shows and series, saw its viewership soar over the past year, at times even passing NTV as the country's No. 3 network.

"This decision means that entertainment TV is no longer perceived as something in really bad taste -- it can also mean interesting and respectable," Rodnyansky said.

The prize for TV event of the year went to Rossia television's "Idiot" "for reanimating classic works and rehabilitating viewers." The adaptation of Dostoevsky's famous novel created a sensation when it was aired last spring and topped the rating charts.

Film director and television producer Valery Todorovsky, who accepted the award, said adapting "Idiot" for television was "akin to testing a new airplane."

For the first time this year, two special awards were presented to Parfyonov and Viktor Shenderovich of now-closed TVS "for the professionalism and civic responsibility expressed in the 'Namedni' and 'Besplatny Syr' programs following the Dubrovka hostage crisis."

Parfyonov said in his acceptance speech that he "didn't like the prize," stressing that it was not up to journalists to show civic responsibility.

Shenderovich called his post-hostage program the only thing that made worthwhile "the compromise that I had to agree to when I joined the irresponsible project that was TVS."

The jury announced two anti-event of the year awards -- one for "the collective irresponsibility of TVS participants that led to the channel's shutdown" and the other to "the professionally unmotivated management change at NTV."

No anti-event award was supposed to be handed out, but Shenderovich joked he would take the prize on behalf of the former TVS team "if it had some monetary value."

TVS, the last private national channel, suffered financial and management troubles for months before being taken off air June 22 by the Press Ministry. Some saw the move as politically motivated, while others blamed TVS's problems on a consortium of businessmen who initially agreed to fund the channel but later lost interest.

Similarly, Gazprom's decision in January to replace NTV general director Boris Jordan with Nikolai Senkevich, who served as deputy head of its information department and had no previous experience in television, created quite a splash in a television community that regarded the shuffle as unnecessary.