Expert of ID
In December, 2008 the Ekspert media holding started the first digital project — Expert TV TV channel. It was announced loudly: it was reported that it will be the country's first business and the newsfeed broadcasting in the HD format, i.e. high definition (Channel One, we will notice, passed to expensive broadcasting of high definition only in December, 2012). At the same time the channel broadcast also in a standard format that as it was reported, gave it additional competitive advantages.
Expert TV thought, first of all, as business full-time channel — "the full-fledged information resource consisting of the Russian, international and regional news and high-quality analytics". The most part of programs of Expert TV was really focused on business audience and told about market development perspectives, investment projects and economic trends, career of large businessmen and financiers. There were in a radio grid also social and political analytical projects — for example, the Point of view program with the publicist Alexander Privalov or the Journalistic Club broadcast which was conducted by the head of media holding and the Chief Editor of the Ekspert magazine Valery Fadeyev. The TV channel organized even the educational project for youth — "Federal league of a debate" where young people had to learn to conduct discussions on the most different subjects.
On TV channel spoke about political country situation rather quietly — for example, in the Magistralny Deadlock and Demokratiya programs (the last was started in February, 2012 by Fadeyev for the purpose of "search of a compromise between the power and opposition"). According to employees, the management of holding, despite nearness to ruling circles, did not interfere with editorial policy and did not impose a certain point of view on the events in the country.
In spite of the fact that edition "Expert TV", obviously, tried to create content interesting to different categories of the audience, and even got the award "Big Digit" in the "Best Russian Information Channel" nomination twice, any project of TV channel for these years did not become really bright and noticeable. Releases of political programs on hot topics (same Democracy) gathered on YouTube of several hundred viewings, not to mention lack of a resonance in media and blogs.
However for several years of existence the channel, certainly, had the small loyal audience. In February-April, 2012, according to TNS Russia, the saved-up scope of Expert TV (the number of the people watching the channel at least one minute and at least once for the reporting period) reached 7.9 million people 4 years are more senior. For comparison, the saved-up scope of audience of RBC-TV — his main competitor and the largest business channel in Russia — during the period from January to March, 2012 made about 32 million viewers, and the saved-up scope of Rain started in April, 2010 was equal to indicators of Expert TV by March of the 2012th.
The business segment of media in itself usually attracts the advertisers who are guided by educated audience with high income. However advertizing revenues of Expert TV, by recognition of the management of holding, were small.
Expert TV was started in the middle of the economic crisis which especially strongly affected media and in a month, in January, 2009, the management of the channel announced difficulties with financing and search of new investors. By the fall of 2009 the holding managed to sell about 20 percent of the shares to Globex bank, child structure of the state VEB. Then the additional issue was made, and the channel managed to hold on afloat still some time. However in August, 2012 Globex cut the share in Ekspert holding almost by half. And at the end of fall of 2012 ceased to pay to employees salaries again.
However, this story was for TV channel (and, by hearsay, for printing editions of holding) usual. Salaries to the employees delayed since launch and, even despite the found investors in the form of VEB and a promise to pay everything, did not repay debts to much still (March, 2013).
In the summer of 2012 the designer Alexander Korotich who thought up design of the channel publicly accused the management of Ekspert holding — Valery Fadeyev, Tatyana Gurova and Alexander Privalov — of fraud. According to Korotich, for design of the channel owed it 600 thousand rubles. After the management refused to resolve with it a debt issue in the diplomatic way, he went to court and won it, but found out that he cannot receive from the company the money any more.
The matter is that in January, 2012 the Expert TV TV channel changed the legal entity — with Expert TV LLC on Expert TV Company LLC. Thus, all won claims were addressed to any more not existing company. In a similar situation there was also many other staff of TV channel, and is long some of them reached the size of an annual salary. According to Fadeyev, change of the legal entity was made within restructuring of holding.
Last time paid journalists of Expert TV in the middle of January, 2013 — a quarter of the salary for November, 2012. But, according to employees, the TV channel should not only to them, but also most of the partners and so that now at office for failure to pay the rent just threaten to cut off electricity. However, light there already to very few people is required as at the beginning of March, 2013 the TV channel ceased to broadcast news and the latest issues of programs, and on March 12 at all stopped broadcasting including on the Internet. As a result from the website of TV channel all results of four years' work were gone though a part of records can still be found on the page of Expert TV on YouTube.
On the same day, on March 12, the management of Expert TV submitted the application for bankruptcy to the Supreme Arbitration Court. And in the evening on March 13 Valery Fadeyev met journalists of Expert TV to talk to them about the fate of the channel and about debts of the company (the correspondent of Lenta.ru was present at this meeting). Fadeyev announced to the employees introduction shortly of external observation and that from the moment of appearance of the external observer the company stops payments for debts (the text of this performance, by the way, is already available on Facebook).
According to Fadeyev, the reason of failure was that expenses of TV channel significantly exceeded its income though in terms of costs of Expert TV was "the most effective channel in Russia". Fadeyev explained that the project was heavy from the very beginning as it was started during crisis, and its management "revaluated how the market will develop". As for debt repayment to employees, Fadeyev paid special attention of the audience on the fact that they were warned in advance that the project heavy. "Leave this risky work location, find to yourself other work. Many will confirm that it was told many times" — Fadeyev noticed.
After an opening speech the CEO answered questions of employees who, naturally, most of all were concerned by a question of salary payment. After several evasive answers that the holding puts salary payment by the priority and will try, despite the request about bankruptcy, to begin to sell the equipment and furniture and also to find other, unnamed sources for compensation of debts, Valery Fadeyev after all recognized that he can promise nothing and does not undertake obligations for return of money. The desperate journalists who were obviously hearing many of these phrases already not for the first time (though earlier after all still promised to return them money), as a result suggested Fadeyev to ask for the help nearly Putin whose authorized representative is the journalist.
Valery Fadeyev, clear, answered such request only with an amazed look, and here journalists of TV channel published the open letter next day, having promised to send it including to the State Duma and Presidential Administration. Appeals to State Labour Inspection, courts and prosecutor's office, according to them, did not bear fruits and therefore they decided to use Fadeyev's image as the tool: "We consider that the positive image of Fadeyev as politician and public figure is incompatible with such negligence to the employees, the same journalists, as well as it". Journalists also promise to publish in the blogs in the nearest future a lot of "greasy information" on the chief.
In a mediasreda apprehended news about closing of Expert TV TV channel and scandal with debts to employees it is ambiguous. Some sympathize with the deceived journalists, others consider that those had to understand what they undertook and for whom worked. The third note that in this story there is nothing surprising as Fadeyev "the famous deceiver". And the CEO of RBC-TV Alexander Lyubimov directly said that "nonprofessional managers" to whom it is not necessary and to contact television were engaged in TV channel.
Journalists of Expert TV on all questions of why they remained on the channel, answer that they had too good collective and the direct administration, besides they long trusted Fadeyev's promises and hoped for reputation of Ekspert holding. Employees insist that the channel was good, and they accept the next confused explanations of the administration with healthy humor. For example, as in this roller: