Russia plans state-run youth TV channel

Could take frequency from embattled 2x2 net

MOSCOW -- The Russian government plans to launch a state-run TV channel targeting youths, according to Pavel Tarakanov, chair of the committee on youth issues at the State Duma, the lower chamber of the Russian parliament.

According to a report in the Russian business newspaper RBC Daily Wednesday, the new channel may take the frequency of cartoon channel 2x2, which recently came under attack from authorities for airing the allegedly "extremist" content of cartoon TV series such as "South Park" and "The Simpsons."

Tarakanov said that the new channel "will reflect the state's views in the area of youth policy" but would not give more details, saying only that the development of the channel's strategy is "near completion."

While there is no apparent relation between Tarakanov's announcement of the new channel's project and the recent attack on 2x2, observers say that the controversy around 2x2 may be triggered by undisclosed plans to take over its frequency. The fate of 2x2's frequency is expected to be decided within days.