Head of Russia Today Appointed Editor-in-Chief of New Russian Media Group

Margarita Simonyan will retain her position as head of the pro-Kremlin English-language TV channel.

MOSCOW -- Margarita Simonyan, head of the pro-Kremlin state-run English-language TV channel, Russia Today, has been appointed editor-in-chief of the new media conglomerate Rossiya Segodnya (Russia Today), which replaced the state-run wire service RIA Novosti.

"This key position could only be taken by a person with a brilliant journalistic reputation and contemporary managerial skills," the media group's general director Dmitry Kiselyov said in a statement.

Simonyan will retain her position at the network, which could mean that Russia Today is likely to be incorporated into the new structure. When the news about the liquidation of RIA Novosti and its replacement with Rossiya Segodnya was announced, Simonyan maintained that the television channel would not become part of the new organization, even though its Russian name is identical to that of Russia Today.

If beefed up with the television network, Rossiya Segodnya would become a huge state-run media conglomerate focused on broadcasting outside Russia.

Simonyan, who began her career on a local TV station in the South Russian city of Krasnodar, was appointed head of Russia Today back in 2005.