Public Russian Television to Go on the Air in May

Moscow Red Square - P 2012

Moscow Red Square - P 2012

The station is expected to provide an alternative viewpoint to major state-run channels.

MOSCOW – Russia’s new national TV station, Public Russian Television (OTV) is to be inaugurated in late spring.

A concept for the long-awaited station, which some hope will become an alternative to government-controlled stations, such as Channel One, Rossiya and NTV, is nearly finalized and programming is currently under discussion, Alexei Volin, deputy communications minister was quoted as saying by the wire service RIA Novosti.

He added that the channel is to first go on the air on May 19, but would not provide any specifics. Currently, pilot shows are being filmed at OTV, which is based at Moscow’s Ostankino television center, alongside the headquarters of the country’s other TV stations.

A decree on the creation of OTV was signed in April 2012 by then President Dmitry Medvedev and there have been debates on how the station is to be funded while remaining independent of the government, have been going on ever since.

Anatoly Lysenko, a veteran journalist and chairman of the international federation of television and radio, is the channel’s general director and renowned film and theater actor Oleg Tabakov is its chairman of the board.

The first attempt to launch a national public TV channel in Russia was in the mid 1990s. But the station, ORT, was later taken over by the government and turned into what now is Channel One.