Vladimir Putin Loyalist to Launch Celebrity Network in Russia
The cable station Super, run by Aram Gabrelyanov's News Media, is expected to start broadcasting next year.
MOSCOW – The group News Media, run by Aram Gabrelyanov, is to launch Super, a cable and satellite network focused on celebrities, in 2015.
Preparing for the network's launch, the company is re-launching its Web magazine Super.ru, which will become a springboard for the new TV station.
Gabrelyanov, known for loyalty to president Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin, has come to prominence over the last few years thanks to the popular tabloids Tvoi Den and Zhizn. News Media also owns the Lifenews cable TV channel and manages the newspaper Izvestia and the radio station Russian News Service, both owned by Yuri Kovalchuk, an entrepreneur recently banned from entry to the U.S. and European Union as he is reportedly close to Putin.
News Media's executive director, Ashot Gabrelyanov, told the business daily Vedomosti that the new network will be primarily focused on celebrities' infidelities, separations and debaucheries, their out-of-wedlock children and their drinking escapades, featuring content filmed by the station's journalists and generated by viewers.
News Media expects that targeting primarily women between 30 and 55 will bring in ad revenues. "This kind of viewer is always interesting for major consumer brands," Gabrelyanov said.
Investment in the new network is estimated to be between $2 million and $3 million, and it is expected to turn a profit in 2017 under a conservative scenario.