Ekho Moskvy Board of Directors decides to close radio station, website
MOSCOW. March 3 (Interfax) - The Ekho Moskvy Board of Directors has decided to liquidate the radio station and its website, Ekho Moskvy Editor-in-Chief Alexei Venediktov said.
"The Ekho Moskvy Board of Directors has decided by a majority of votes to liquidate the radio channel and the website of Ekho Moskvy," Venediktov said on Telegram.
The editor's office is still looking into the essence of the order, he said.
"Having considered the order of the Russian Prosecutor General's Office for restricting access to the Ekho Moskvy media outlet, the Board of Directors of PJSC Ekho Moskvy decided on March 3 to cease operations of the Ekho Moskvy Radio media outlet and the identically named online publication," the Gazprom Media Holding press service told Interfax.
Venediktov told Interfax that the board's decision meant the station won't be back on air or online. "We don't know what a liquidation is. Our understanding is that neither our broadcasting nor access to our website will be restored. The decision on the liquidation was made within just 15 minutes in my absence, I was not even invited to the meeting," he said.
In his view, the Prosecutor General's Office did not demand Ekho's closure. "The filing of the Prosecutor General's Office said the violations needed to be addressed [under penalty of] right up to discontinuation of broadcasting, but that the discontinuation itself was not necessary," Venediktov said.
At the same time, he said the board decision has effectively left the minority shareholders, who own 34% in Ekho (which is a blocking stake, by the way) without the assets.
"We will get together with the shareholders and decide what to do about it," Venediktov said.