The former head of “Vympelcom” has addressed to the edition of “Vedomosti”

Mikhail Slobodin

Photo: Sergey Konkov / TASS

Businessman Mikhail Slobodin addressed to the editorial staff of “Vedomosti” after the election of a new chief editor. In his opinion, the editors should “take a sober look at things and understand what needs to change very much”

Former General Director of “VimpelCom” (renders services under brand Beeline) Mikhail Slobodin in the blog platform Medium assessed the situation in the newspaper “Vedomosti” from the point of view of media business, calling his text a “side view”. He wrote an appeal to the editorial Board, after the Board of Directors of the “Business news media” (publishes the newspaper) on Wednesday, March 22, chose the chief editor of a top Manager of the “First channel” Ilya Bulavinov.

According to slobodina, which, as can be seen from the text, is a longtime fan of the newspaper, “Vedomosti” are currently the “most respected, high-quality and professional business edition in Russia.” At the same time, according to Slobodin, the terms “shape, product, channels of distribution” Vedomosti “strongly lagged behind life.”

The former head of “VimpelCom” draws attention to the fact that “the business model of the media resource with a paid subscription, classic journalists, great infrastructure, release paper newspaper and all that — is not sustainable [unsustainable. — RBC] today.” According to slobodina, due to the low audience, “Vedomosti”, “not interesting to large advertisers, Internet traffic is difficult to monetize”. The businessman also criticized the technology and the monetization of the newspaper.

Slobodin States that “statements” “very difficult and painful project” — “the transformation of the traditional business publications in modern media resources”.

Separately Slobodin writes about the conflict mood in the wording related to the election of the chief editor. “Existing team “Vedomosti” with the current attitude and approach (I saw on a 45-minute video in which the owner of the newspaper Demyan Kudryavtsev announces results of Board of Directors, which was chosen as the new editor in chief. — RBC) can not cope with a radical transformation of ourselves”, — said the former head of “VimpelCom”. “Guys, the laws of the corporate world apply to “Vedomosti”. Behave accordingly,” he adds.

Wednesday, March 22, the new editor-in-chief of the newspaper “Vedomosti” was selected top Manager of the “First channel” Ilya Bulavinov. Led the publication of over ten years, Tatiana Lysova announced the decision to leave the post in late October, citing his “personal circumstances”. As reported on the website of Vedomosti, the Board of Directors of the company “Business news media” (publishes the newspaper) gave four votes for the candidate Bulavinov put forward by the owner of the edition, and proposed revisions and Tatiana Lisovoy the candidature of the chief editor of the website “Vedomosti” Catherine Derbilova voted three members of the Board. The choice of the Board of Directors caused disapproving reaction on the part of the team, some of the employees wrote a statement of resignation.

As discussed in “Vedomosti,” Bulavinov will take office from mid-April.

“I am grateful to Michael and the entire Russian business, which, worried about what is happening to the most important independent newspaper — said RBC Demyan Kudryavtsev. But any judgment from the outside — this judgment is inaccurate and introducing extra entropy into our internal Affairs. Despite the fact that everyone’s experience in Russia is associated with changes in the media, unfortunately, already huge, it is still in each case a little bit different. I first of all I want to say right now: this is the best edition in the city. It’s consenting adults, who can handle the problems that we have. It is not the opposition of shareholders and the wording, it is a difficult interaction. Please, everyone just give us time and leave us in peace, as far as possible.”

Acting chief editor Tatyana Lysova, said that the opinion of Mikhail Slobodin about the work of the newspaper “Vedomosti” her “deeply***” (Lysova used the expression that RBC are unable to publish the whole for reasons of “double solid”). “Verbatim:***. Because he knows nothing about”, she added.

Elected chief editor of “Vedomosti” Ilya Bulavinov declined to comment.

Mikhail Slobodin was the head of “VimpelCom” in 2013, in early September 2016 resigned from his post after the TFR has announced the top-Manager’s wanted list on criminal case about bribery to officials of the Komi Republic, which could go from the “T Plus”. In 2003-2010 Slobodin was the head of this company (then it was called “IES holding”). Currently he is abroad. In addition to slobodina suspects in this case are the CEO of “T Plus” (“daughter” of “Renova” Viktor Vekselberg) Boris Vainzikher and its other predecessor Yevhen olkhovyk.


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