In the depths of the “Troll factory” increased Russia’s largest media holding

Business centre “Lenin”

Photo: Ekaterina Kuzmina for RBC

Found RBC media holding, which grew in just two years. Now it’s 16 portals with audience of more than 36 million people a month. The contents of the “factory media” with 200-250 employees cost 260 million rubles. per year, likely the investor structure of businessman Eugene Prigogine

Attendance is the largest portal group — the Federal Agency news (FAN) — February 2017 amounted to 11 million, follows from the statistics LiveInternet. For this indicator, the FAN bypassed, for example, “Vedomosti” and “Kommersant”. The total attendance of sites holding more than 36 million people a month, more audience, “RIA Novosti” (about 28 million) or, for example, “Komsomolskaya Pravda” (approximately 33 million), according to LiveInternet.

FAN and several media holdings appeared in 2014 and initially worked in the house № 55 along the street Savushkina in St. Petersburg. Here is based the infamous “Troll factory”, where staff is supposed to write in blogs and social networks comments in defense of the current government and to promote Patriotic values, it wrote to “Novaya Gazeta”, “Fontanka” and the BBC.

In 2015, the media moved in, now they work in the business centre “Lenin”, located a few kilometers from Savushkina 55. About the reasons of moving employees sites then no one spoke, but everyone knew that the door to the “Troll factory” I worked at a loss, says a former editor of the FAN. Agency Director Eugene Zubarev in conversation with the RBC magazine denies the communication of editors office with the Agency “factory”, and the period of “residence” on Savushkina explains the convenience and low cost rental. In “Lenin” in addition to the FAN now working “Economy”, “Policy”, “National news”, found RBC.

Less than six months after the move — in end of 2015 — at Savushkina, a new portion of information sites. Three of them — “Interactor”, “Politekspert”, “Uinform” in February of 2017 received certificates of Roskomnadzor. The media is LLC “Navinfo”, its sole owner Yuri Krasnov confirmed to RBC magazine, the editorial work on Savushkina 55. The cumulative audience of five portals created by the end of 2015, in February, reached 9 million people.

In the “factory media” now has about 225-250 people, the average salary of journalists is about 50-55 thousand RUB over the Contents of the holding costs about 180 million rubles a year (including rent), told RBC is one of the leaders of the organization Alexey Nikiforov. A source close to the leadership of the group, called another sum of almost 270 million rbl. the Source magazine RBC close to the management of the holding company, said that profits the organization brings. RBC magazine examined all the sites of the “factory media”: at the time of preparation of the material web banner was the only flag (MTS cellular communication operator, construction company LSR), the “Politesse” inside articles pop up commercials.

“The new newspaper” earlier wrote that the financing “Troll factory” relevant structures are known restaurateur Eugene Prigogine. The interlocutor of RBC magazine from an environment of the businessman confirms this information. Nikiforov calls holding “a private company that holds itself through advertising.” Zubarev said that the money allocated to the “private investor”, whose name he did not disclose. The name of the mysterious “private investors”, he categorically refuses to call: “does the structure of Prigogine? I can’t comment”.

Learn more about “factory media” read the RBC magazine.

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