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Dozhd Gets 50-Day Lifeline After Telethon

Published: April 1, 2014 (Issue # 1803)



  • Crew members at Dozhd’s studios filming as a host conducts an interview with a guest during a fundraiser.
    Photo: Vladimir Filonov / SPT

Independent television channel Dozhd has extended its operation for at least 50 days in a fundraising campaign launched to save the channel after major cable networks refused to air it.

The money was collected during a week-long telethon from March 24 to 30 that sold yearly subscriptions to Dozhd, souvenirs featuring the Dozhd logo and tickets to a gala, as well as through public donations and sales of advertising space on the channel's website. The telethon sought to bring freedom of the press into the spotlight, even inviting guests on air to discuss the topic.

Related: Dozhd TV Fomenting a Hipster Revolution

Dozhd, which is known for covering opposition activities, found itself in hot water earlier this year after publishing a poll that asked whether Leningrad should have been surrendered during the Nazi siege to save hundreds of thousands of lives. The poll triggered complaints from officials, and cable operators subsequently dropped the channel, though they said the move had nothing to do with the poll.

Last week, Dozhd owner Alexander Vinokurov said the channel would still have to shut down if its landlord did not reconsider extending the lease for the channel's headquarters beyond June 20. Vinokurov said that hiring a new space and preparing it for the channel's operation would require millions of dollars and more than 18 months' time.

Related: Lawsuits Pour Into St. Petersburg Courts Over Dozhd Poll

But Dozhd spokeswoman Darya Simonenko said by phone Monday that Dozhd would not have to shut down if it lost its office, and that the channel's representatives would soon hold a news conference about the channel's plans. The date had not yet been set, she said.

There is hope among some of Dozhd's anchors that the channel may continue to produce video reports remotely even if the office is lost, three anchors told The Moscow Times last week.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at today’s Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nation’s premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the city’s elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolan’s latest film “Mommy” at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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