According to the contract signed on Dec. 6 in Moscow between Russian Radio - Eurasia Ltd. and Latvian mass media center Business & Baltija, 51 percent of the shares belong to Russian Radio - Eurasia Ltd. with the center owning the rest. The radio's headquarters is in Riga, but every city will have its own editorial office. Russian Radio - Baltija currently broadcast in Riga, Daugavpils and Liepaja. It will begin broadcasting in Vilnius in the beginning of the next year. Vladimir Gurov, president of mass media center Business & Baltija, said it is the first really working joint Russian and Baltic business idea. "We had many problems with creating this enterprise. We needed the permissions of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Economy; we also had to coordinate our activities with the Russian Ministry of Mass Media, but in any case we succeeded," said Gurov with satisfaction.
At present there are five radio stations that offer Russian language broadcasting in Estonia. They are Katyusha, Radio 4, Radio 100FM, Sky-radio and Russian Radio. The biggest and the oldest is the national public station Radio 4. The youngest, radio Katyusha, has been working for less than one year. Russian Radio has been on air in Tallinn and Narva for more than two and a half years. A logical question arises: Will the new Russian Radio - Baltija be similar to the present Russian Radio? Or maybe it will be slightly different? What does Estonia need two identical stations for? According to the head of enterprising for Russian Radio - Baltija, Oleg Lakin, this will be an absolutely new radio station with its own face.
The present Russian Radio in Estonia is an exact copy of Russian Radio in Moscow - the same jingles, similar programs and even music selection tends to be the same. "We want our new project to be different. First of all we will have an accent on production of original programs and radio shows with Russian stars. For instance, we had already an agreement with the popular Russian show man Nikolai Fomenko, who is famous for many of his radio and TV projects," said Lakin. "We are not going to rebroadcast Latvian programs of Russian Radio - Baltija in Estonia. In Tallinn there will be its own editorial office, and at present the staffing is almost complete. For some years we have been advertising in the Estonian newspapers where we have found many people who can work at the radio station," he added.
In the beginning the new station will broadcast only in Tallinn, later to appear in other Estonian towns. According to Lakin, they are first of all interested in regions with mostly Russian populations. "This includes Narva, Sillamae and Kohtla-Jarve, but we have plans for Parnu and Tartu too," he said.