Investor halts publication of Russia’s Bolshoi Gorod magazine

Investor halts publication of Russia's Bolshoi Gorod magazine

14 February 2014

Publication of Bolshoi Gorod magazine has been suspended following a decision by its main investor, Alexander Vinokurov. In an interview with news agency ITAR-TASS, Vinokurov said: “We’re suspending the release of the print publication and won’t be printing the next issue. We have sent a letter about this to our advertisers.” He declined to comment on the future of the publication or the reason for its suspension.

According to a message on the Bolshoi Gorod website, the online publication will continue as usual. The website was almost closed in April last year after Vinokurov, a former investment banker, announced plans to make all online staff redundant without compensation, citing financial issues. The online backlash that followed resulted in a change of heart in Vinokurov, although several employees, including Ekaterina Kronhaus, the editor-in-chief of the online publication, still resigned.

Along with his wife Natalia Sindeeva, Vinokurov is also a majority stakeholder in liberal news website Slon.ru and Rain TV (Dozhd), Russia’s leading opposition television channel. In recent weeks, Rain TV has fought for its survival after it published a controversial poll on its website. The poll asked readers whether Leningrad (now St Petersburg) should have been surrendered to the Nazis in order to save hundreds of thousands of lives. A number of cable operators responded by taking the channel off air.