Business
Dec. 23 2014 - 18:12

Sochi Olympics PR Director Made CEO of Ekho Moskvy

Russia's radio station Ekho Moskvy on Tuesday elected a new CEO.

Russia's radio station Ekho Moskvy on Tuesday elected a new CEO.

The shareholders of liberal-minded radio station Ekho Moskvy on Tuesday elected a new CEO: the former public relations director of the Olympic Organizing Committee for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi.

Mikhail Demin will hold the post for the next three years after 99.9 percent of the radio station's shareholders voted in his favor, Vladimir Varfomoleyev, the station's deputy editor, said on Twitter on Tuesday.

Demin was nominated for the post by the shareholders of state-controlled media giant Gazprom Media, Ekho Moskvy's majority shareholder.

The station's minority shareholders, including editor-in-chief Alexei Venediktov, had suggested appointing the station's former chief executive Yury Fedutinov, who was fired in the spring after more than two decades at the station's helm.

Ahead of the shareholders' meeting on Tuesday, however, Venediktov said the minority shareholders would support Demin's nomination, news agency Interfax reported.

"There's no point in beating our heads against the wall [about Demin's appointment], since we already know they have a majority vote," Venediktov said.

Venediktov and the radio station's journalists together own 34 percent of Ekho Moskvy, with the remaining shares all under Gazprom Media's control.

Demin will be replacing Yekaterina Pavlova, who announced her resignation in early October. He had been appointed Pavlova's adviser in November.

Ekho Moskvy has been hailed as one of Russia's last remaining independent media outlets. It came under fire in November after one of its radio hosts, Alexander Plyushchev, posted a derisive comment about the death of the Kremlin chief of staff's son on Twitter.

The incident sparked a flurry of panic after an extraordinary meeting of shareholders was called to decide the station's fate, with many of Ekho Moskvy's supporters fearing it would be shut down.

The station apparently dodged the bullet, however, reaching a deal with Gazprom Media in mid-November to draft guidelines for its journalists' behavior on social media.

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