After ceasing daily publication last Friday 30th, The Moscow Times, Russia’s leading English-language news relaunched as a weekly magazine yesterday.
Founded in 1992 by Dutch publisher Derk Sauer, the Times has launched the careers of many journalists, including Ellen Barry of The New York Times and Simon Ostrovsky of VICE News. Whilst the newspaper will maintain a daily online presence, its print copy will now take the form of a weekly magazine dedicated more to analysis and opinion pieces.
The switch from daily to weekly publication comes several months after the paper was acquired by its first-ever Russian owner, Demyan Kudryavtsev, and was accompanied on Friday by the resignation of editor Nabi Abdullaev. Mr Kudryavtsev was previously the publisher of Russian business daily Kommersant before being fired in 2011 for his coverage of that year’s parliamentary elections and ensuing protests. Mr Abdullaev had been appointed as editor of The Moscow Times in March of this year, before the paper changed hands.
Speaking to the Kyiv Post, Mr Kudryavtsev claimed that the new format is necessary given the financial problems that have affected The Moscow Times for some time – and which caused its sister paper, The St Petersburg Times, to cease print publication in 2014. In the same article, Mr Abdullaev is quoted as having “no problems with the new product – I was part of the team who designed it.” In an interview with the Russian magazine Slon, he had claimed that his departure was due to a dispute with the new owner over editorial responsibilities.
In a Facebook post published on Friday, Mr Abdullaev stated his optimism that The Moscow Times would recover from its current financial predicament thanks to its growing online presence and coterie of journalists, advising his former charges to “take no shit from anyone, you are too good for it.”