Saturday, October 30, 2010

Lebedev: British Journalism Is The Best You Can Find

Alexander Lebedev, the Russian proprietor of the Independent group and the Evening Standard, released this video:

The launch of 'I', the intelligent tabloid for busy people, is greeted with excited comments. When circulations of print publications are shrinking dramatically, it's quite surprising to see the launch of a completely new print product. Publishers talk mostly of 'multimedia' projects these days and seem to be retreating from print. But Lebedev and his son Evgeny, have already turned the fortunes of the Standard, it now breaks even and is even bringing profit.

'I' has become eponymous for all things electronic - iMac, iPhone, iPod. Will the magic letter help printed press? It remains to be seen. 'I' (aye) in Russian means 'ouch' or 'oops'.

Lebedev is not the only Russian tycoon with an interest in international press. There is a definite trend there and the analysts are struggling to explain it.

In France the 25-year-old Alexandre Pugachev, son of billionaire Sergei Pugachev, is making waves with his attempt to revive the flagging quality tabloid France Soir. He vowed to outsell its rival Le Parisien/Aujourd'hui and has shown interest in expanding into regional press. There was also an unsuccessful Russian bid to buy Le Monde by another Russian magnate.

Mikhail Prokhorov, another Russian billionaire, is moving international his expensively published Snob magazine with a huge and dynamic web-site. Snob is in Russian and the appearance of Russian-language ads in Western press amused and even startled some. Two incredibly talented publishers/journalists, Vladimir Yakovlev and Masha Gessen, work on the project. Their idea is to bring together the international Russian - and Russian-speaking - community.

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