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Snob

Company

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History

2017: The CEO Marina Gevorkyan redeems the edition from Oneksim

In September, 2017 it was announced that the Onexim group of the billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov sold the Snob edition to the CEO of Snob Media LLC Marina Gevorkyan.

It is said in the statement Oneksim that the group decided to get rid of media assets within the investment strategy. "Snob" remained the last such asset of Oneksim.

Marina Gevorkyan works in Snob since 2009. The CEO of Snob Media LLC she became in 2012.

2013: Elena Myasnikova was asked to look after Snob

In June, 2015 hackers published personal correspondence of Elena Myasnikova, at that time the vice president of RBC from which it became known that at least in 2013 approved the budget of Snob which formally does not belong to RBC with it though they and the general owner have Mikhail Prokhorov. In one of letters such explanation is offered:

"I work in RBC now, and Onexim asked me "look after" the Snob project "at the same time"".
The letter in which representatives of Snob approve financial plans with Elena Myasnikova

2012: Getting into the list of "drawing liars" because of overestimate of indicators by 3 times

According to National drawing service from January till June, 2012 the Snob magazine was included in the list of "drawing liars": at the actual circulation of 20,000 copies the edition states about the circulation of 65,000 pieces publicly, thereby overestimating circulation by 3.1 times[1]

2011

Vladimir Yakovlev's dismissal

The TV channel place "for intellectuals" which planned, but was not started by Snob occupied Rain. In 2011 the editor-in-chief Vladimir Yakovlev said that he very much likes this project and that it is expected the same audience, as Snob. Prokhorov, apparently, heard these words of Yakovlev.

In the morning on October 28, 2011 the Chief Editor of the Snob project Vladimir Yakovlev published the open letter which text is given below[2] on the website snob.ru]:

"On Tuesday evening (on October 25, 2011) I received the letter from the CEO of the Onexim group Dmitry Razumov in whom he states some number of claims to me as to the Snob project manager. We intended to discuss these issues.

Nevertheless today in media messages that Onexim ousts me the project manager appeared. It is important to tell that Onexim is a complete project owner Snob now and, of course, has full authority to make decisions on appointment or removal of project managers.

However, as the acting Chief Editor of the Snob project, I do not read out this solution correct from the commercial point of view. One of the main claims specified in Dmitry Razumov's letter was that in the current year we earn 250 million rubles instead of about 400 planned. In spite of the fact that the planned target on revenue will be hardly reached until the end of the year, I consider that the general indicators of the project can be considered quite successful on the third year of its existence.

In the second half of the year 2011 the project reached self-sufficiency. That for the media project for the third year of existence very good result. For last year our income from the print advertizing grew by 69%, and in general on the project — for 40%. Growth rates of income of the website to me seem very impressive too. In the third quarter income of the website twice exceeded income of the second quarter, and advertizing contracts signed on the fourth quarter promise increase in the current digit still twice. Actually this year the website grows in geometrical progression. It not to mention the magazine. To judge commercial success of the project, eventually it is rather simple to count quantity of advertizing bands in the last number. Each of the printing numbers which appeared in the current year collected about $450 thousand advertizing budgets.

Of course, I should leave the project if Onexim affirms as the decision on removal me from a position of the Chief Editor of the project. But whatever were the reasons of my resignation, I do not think that they are connected with the current commercial party of the project and its income.

Actually, the decision on need of my leaving in the fourth quarter when media traditionally collect the greatest number of advertizing budgets and sign advertizing contracts for next year, causes extensive damage to a commercial part of the project. I think that it is also obvious to heads of Oneksim, as well as me.

Project owners, certainly, have reasons which force them to make this decision. Most likely, these reasons on the weight exceed at present the direct commercial interests of the project: its success in the fourth quarter and stability in the first half of the year 2012.

At the moment I do not know and I cannot sound these reasons, but I will hold negotiations with heads of group and I will be able to announce the final decision on Monday. I think, we will hold a press conference at which we will answer all questions in detail and finally".

  • On October 28, 2011 the Onexim group announced Vladimir Yakovlev's dismissal from posts of the Chief Editor of the Snob project and the president of the media group "Live!". We trust in perspectives of development of media group and its major part - the Snob project", says Oneksim[3].

Sergey Lavrukhin (the chief executive of Onexim) confirmed that Snob in the second half of the year 2011 managed to reach "breakeven point". He also noted that, as well as Yakovlev wrote, sales of advertizing in the Snob magazine in 2011 in comparison with the 2010th grew by 69%, and in general on the project - for 40%. According to Lavrukhin, Yakovlev leaves the project because "the directions of development of media group planned by the Onexim group were not supported by it".

  • In three years of work of the edition in network there was a set of articles devoted to any absurdity arising because the format of Snob changed all the time in edition there was a huge number of people who solved nothing, and materials were often corrected by Yakovlev. Let's remind only two such articles: Leonid Bershidsky's correspondence with "editor Lena" and Elena Kostyleva's memoirs.

Over time salaries in Snob became less, but even in October of the 2011th, they were much higher, than on average in the market.

"Now they [fees] are lower though, for example, the fee for a big sketch approximately same", - Vladimir Yakovlev how it became known of his withdrawal from the magazine was recognized in Forbes interview.

He paid journalists more market in all the projects, starting with Kommersant[3].

Thus, in the conditions of the end of the 2000th years Snob executed important charitable function, having fed several tens or even hundreds of journalists who without project should earn money in a different way. In this sense, whatever future expected the project after Yakovlev's leaving, many will speak well Snob.

Difficulties in social network

From the very beginning Snob outlined to himself quite narrow audience - the magazine and social network became, on the one hand, for intellectuals, and on the other hand - for successful businessmen. Inflow of intellectuals was provided due to work of liazon and the interest of "global Russians", inflow of businessmen - due to reputation of the "prestigious" project.

The cost of participation in Snob is estimated at 350 dollars a year: for this amount any (by default: provided) the person can become a clubman, get numbers of magazines and also use the privileges of the edition. For example, to participate in the exhibitions closed for the general public, demonstrations and discussions and also to visit the closed Snob clubs (the first of them only opens in Moscow) and to receive discounts in any "cool" shops.

However quickly it became clear that for the minimum payback of the project of money of advertisers and businessmen who were ready to pay on 350 dollars a year is not enough. To "snob" it was necessary not only "snobsky", but also quite normal audience which would monitor expressions of celebrities on social network would create traffic and would provide quoting[3].

As a result Snob decided to start advertizing announcements of the project on other social networks, for example, in Facebook. Attraction to the closed network of visitors open led to the fact that the audience at Snob became not absolutely such which the advertisers who were initially guided by rich men and intellectuals expected.

Create social network, "exclusive" on the filling, at Snob if it turned out, then only partly. Quickly enough it became clear that discussion level among intellectuals and successful businessmen (Mikhail Prokhorov called target audience of the project "professional and intellectual elite") often leaves to wish a lot of the best. As an example it is possible to cite at least several discussions about homosexuality and pedophilia as a result of which Snob had even "to ban" clubmen. Especially Masha Hesse became famous for "power methods of moderation of a discussion". She together with other journalists, key for Snob, left the project in October, 2011.

Several thousands of paid subscribers

On December 20, 2011 the chief executive of the Onexim group Sergey Lavrukhin commented on subscription cost:

  • Do not you consider that 350 dollars for an opportunity to become the subscriber of Snob - it are expensive?

  • For 350 dollars of people gets access to the website, ten numbers of the printing version of the magazine in a year, the discount program and an opportunity to attend actions which will be organized by Snob for the members. So the clubman receives a number of services.

When management, the most wrong changes that can be made, to destroy all this. It is necessary to understand, at least, why it was made so, and, perhaps the current situation does not need to be changed at all. The worst is to change the concept of the project. For a fee, it is free, one program, another. The audience is confused, and to it stability is important.

  • Earlier and Snob had a price another, and there is a lot of programs. Today the price is three times higher. Unless it is not confusion?

  • I think, it is connected with the fact that at first there was no product which could be offered for such money at once. There was a product for 100 dollars, then additional services were added, and the price did not change. I am not ready to say now how correct and wrong marketing decisions were made. Today it is wrong to rush to history again and to return to a 100-dollar subscription. If now there are, say, 3000 people who voted money, there is a sense these 3000 to save.

  • And how many subscribers at the Internet version of Snob now?

  • It is a lot of, several thousands.

The strategy of distribution of the magazine outside Russia

Distinctive feature of Snob was the fact that the project was focused on the Russian-speaking audience living not only in Russia, but also worldwide. Lives in Paris, New York, London and other large cities in the magazine are devoted the whole tabs. Besides, Snob began to publish in London and New York - according to Yakovlev, circulations of foreign editions in 2011 are 20 thousand copies[3].

"Global Russian" - one of the most successful ideas of Yakovlev implemented in Snob. In any case, some of the most heated debates between Russian-speaking people on the eternal subject "leave or remain" were unrolled on Snob. Besides, the project really managed to achieve popularity outside Russia - to gather in Google of the word Global Russian Snob enough to see tens of American and British newspaper articles. However, they generally are devoted to what pancakes gave at this or that party sponsored by Snob and which of celebrities attended this party.

And still the phrase "global Russian" will be included, most likely, into language. To Snob of attempt to integrate the Russian-speaking people living in Europe and America scattered by the third and, more, the fourth wave of emigration were not undertaken. On platforms of Snob they, in turn, had an opportunity to communicate with the people close to who for some reason are still living in Russia.

On December 20, 2011 chief executive of the Onexim group Sergey Lavrukhin:

  • There are plans to publish Snob in English?

  • Publishing the magazine in English, you begin to compete with NewYorker, with the American GQ. At the same time they in this market and to the new project not so just to come long ago with the brand there, to reach local English-speaking audience. Abroad there lives enough Russian-speaking people (by some estimates of 30 million), it is the interesting market. People have a need to receive and read the Russian-language edition.

Turnover of 250 million rubles a year

In Vladimir Yakovlev's letter dated October, 2011 it is said that in a year income from the print advertizing of Snob grew by 69%, and whole on the project - for 40%. Nevertheless, it gave also other digit:

"In 2011 we earn 250 million rubles instead of about 400 planned. Each of the printing numbers which appeared in 2011 collected about $450 thousand advertizing budgets" - Vladimir Yakovlev, the editor-in-chief of Snob.

Sergey Lavrukhin (the chief executive of Onexim) confirmed that Snob in the second half of the year 2011 managed to reach "breakeven point". He also noted that, as well as Yakovlev wrote, sales of advertizing in the Snob magazine in 2011 in comparison with the 2010th grew by 69%, and in general on the project - for 40%.

2010: Revenue of 250 million rub

At the end of 2010 the Vedomosti newspaper wrote with reference to official representatives "Live" that revenue of Snob at the end of 2010 made 250 million rubles, and in 2011 will make 420 million.

2009

High fees of journalists

The Snob project was based at the end of 2008 - in the heat of crisis. The general collapse of economy affected the media market very strongly: advertizing budgets decreased nearly several times, many media appeared on the verge of closing, and some did not worry following 2009 at all.

But even those who survived were forced to adopt programs of salary reduction and the employees. Many journalists appeared without work. And here they were waited by a big surprise from Snob.

Rumors about ultraboundary salaries in the new project of Prokhorov at once flooded the "writing" Moscow. In many respects they really came true: salaries in Snob were calculated by thousands, and in certain cases - and tens of thousands of dollars. Did not stint in the project and the fees to authors. As a result began to write in Snob almost more and more or less famous Russian writers: from Eduard Limonov to Victor Pelevin.

Social network Snob

Almost at once after the basis of the magazine and social network for snobs in which only successful and/or famous people were accepted it became known that "liazona" are engaged in filling of this network. The word, new to the Russian journalism, quickly became fashionable though the duties of liazon were very specific[3].

Liazonam, according to the journalist and the participant of Snob Boris Akimov, "was issued" on several tens of celebrities with which those had to reside in touch. If on the website this or that discussion was started, liazona had to call "the" celebrities and take comments, and then make out these comments in record on the website. Thus, participants of Snob club could not have any blogs on the project - instead of them it was done by liazona. As a result on the website sometimes there were quite strange records or comments on behalf of these or those celebrities which occasionally could even not guess that their words register.

Liazona, by the same Akimov's determination, had to become gradually friends of the celebrities and, thus, obtain information in an informal situation not as journalists any more, and as some kind of insiders.

In three years of work of liazon this word in Russia plainly did not get accustomed, and any other edition did not become interested in similar practice. So if to assume that the social network on Snob will be closed, then and liazona, probably, will soon sink Into oblivion - friendship of the journalist with a celebrity which words are for it an earnings source looks too strange.

2008: Prokhorov's media group starts the Snob magazine

The Snob magazine was started in October, 2008 and became the first project of the media group "Live!" of Mikhail Prokhorov.

In 2008 in Snob assumed to make, in addition to the magazine, and the television which would broadcast the best transmissions of the leading TV channels of the world and added to them the content. "In Europe there are so-called 'restaurants without menu' where the cook thinks out every day original set. The visitor, coming there, it is sure that all offered dishes will be equally high-quality. Approximately also and here", - one more of founders of Kommersant Andrey Shmarov explained the concept of television from Snob. In 2008-2009 with TV channel at Snob did not grow together (expenditure were already decent).

Notes