|Starring||See Presenters below|
|Country of origin||Soviet Union (1968-1991)
|No. of episodes||Airs nightly|
|Running time||0:30 minutes per bulletin (may sometimes be extended, see below)|
|Original channel||Channel One Russia and its predecessors|
|Original airing||January 1, 1968 (the programme was on a hiatus from August 1991 to December 1994)- present|
Vremya (Russian: Вре́мя, lit. "Time") is the main evening newscast in Russia, airing on Channel One Russia (Russian: Первый канал, Pervy kanal) and previously on the First Programme of the Central Television of the USSR (CT USSR, Russian:Центральное телевидение СССР, ЦТ СССР). The program has been on the air since January 1, 1968 (there were no broadcasts from August 1991 to December 1994) and was broadcast in color since 1974.
In the Soviet days of Vremya, the programme had a pro-government bias and typically didn't report on news that could potentially fuel anti-government sentiment. The programme presented reports that promoted socialism and portrayed the West in a negative manner. The newsroom was tied to the Politburo of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee. This situation changed after Glasnost, when a director of news was introduced alongside the news being sourced from official outlets. This made CT USSR report accurately on the collapse of the Soviet Union's satellite communist countries in Eastern Europe in 1989. This also made Vremya to be shown uncensored and critical, triggering the protests that hastened the end of the Soviet Union.
Schedule and popularity
Vremya's main edition is scheduled, since its inception, at 21:00 (GMT +11, +9, +7, +5 and +3). It is recorded live five times due to Russia's large size (the country stretches across nine time zones). During the Soviet era, the programme was also carried simultaneously on the primary channel of each republican station (Channel 1 of the Kiev Telecentre, LTV1, Kazakhstan-1, Eesti Televisioon, Lithuanian National Radio and Television, Channel One Belarus, Uzbekistan 1, Georgian Public Broadcasting, Azeri Television etc.) The broadcast lasts 30 minutes, but in special circumstances (more especially during the Soviet era), the broadcast is extended beyond the 30 minutes allotted when necessary (such as the Red Square state ceremonies and parades, CPSU Party Congress telecasts together with other CPSU-led activities, plenary sessions of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, and deaths of Soviet leaders Leonid Brezhnev, Yuri Andropov and Konstantin Chernenko). Even highlights of the celebrations of the Union-wide holidays were also broadcast.
Starting in the mid-1970s, another 30-minute edition was presented on the All-Union Programme (launched in 1956) around 11:00pm.(This was in the form of a live simulcast of Vremya in the next Orbita transmission zone, occasionally a repeat of the 9:00pm programme, especially in the European USSR.) Prior to that, both channels aired Vremya simultaneously at 9:00pm, then repeated the next morning when the First Programme signed on around 7:30am (later 6:30am) after the exercise programme, before airing children's programming and schools and colleges programmes, all produced together with the USSR Ministry of Education and were also seen on Programme 4. Later, a live morning edition was shown at 6:30am, before the breakfast programme 120 minut (which continues today on Channel One Russia as Dobroye Utro, Russian:Доброе утро).
News summaries were added as the transmissions increased during the day. There was a bulletin at the end of the morning and midday programmes (i.e. around 1:00pm) and another at 6:30pm on the first channel. From 1989, the latter bulletin began to use the two presenter format of Vremya, as well as the Vremya moniker, and its corresponding studio and graphics (including the title sequence), looking as it was the program's first edition (the 6:30 am program was the morning news edition while the one at 1PM was the midday update), with the 9:00 pm telecast as the second edition and the one at 11:00 pm as the third or late edition or the late night replay. The All-Union Programme's daytime schedule always began with the news at around 15:00. Midnight newscasts didn't appear until the 1980s, when the First Programme screened a headline update preceding the closedown sequence, usually after midnight. All of these bulletins were known as Novosti (Russian:Новости, "The News"). From 1989, the 15:00 news round-up on the All-Union Programme and the midnight news round-up on the First Programme were known as TSN: Television News Service (Russian:TCH:Телевизионная служба новостей, TSN:Televizionnaya sluzhba novostey). Today the news on Channel One Russia follows a similar schedule to this one, with Vremya, TSN and the all-Russian and regional news updates.
The majority of Russians rely on Vremya as a trusted news source.
From 1986 until the present, Vremya has used the theme song from Time, Forward! as its signature tune and opening sequence. This was formerly used from 1981 to 1983.
Coverage during the last days of the USSR
After the introduction of the Glasnost in the late 1980s, Vremya loosened its fidelity to the party line and began presenting fair reports about the events transforming Eastern Europe at the time. In 1987 the program logo appeared for the first time in its studio. 1988 saw a big change for the newscast as its studios featured picture backdrops for the first time, and debuted a new logo, with a styled letter B in a box. On August 19, 1991, it showed pictures of the impending coup d'etat in Moscow for the first time.
The last Soviet-era Vremya newscast was broadcast on August 1991. The closure was due to pressure from Russian President Boris Yeltsin claiming that the programme was "too tied to the CPSU". When the USSR dissolved in December that year, the programme changed broadcasters from Soviet Central Television to the new Ostankino Television 1 and 4. It stayed even until after the network's name change to ORT-1 (Public Russian Television-1, Russian: Общественное Российское Телевидение, Obshchestvennoe Rossiyskoe Televidenie) in November 1994, and Ostankino 4's reformatting into NTV that same year.
The programme was revived on December 14, 1994 on ORT 1 in time to report on the looming conflict in Chechenya. The format was then changed to that of a single-presenter one, but the dual-presenter one was kept for special editions of the program, and was even incorporated into the newscast's 1995-96 opening sequence.
On Sundays since the late 1980s, the programme also has a separate Sunday edition, initially called 7 Days (Russian: Семь дней, Sem' d'nei), since 2003 known as Sunday Vremya (Russian:Воскресное Время, Voskresnoe Vremja, Sunday Time). This programme also airs a roundup of the week's news. Until its launch, Vremya was shown as per Monday-Saturday.
- Vera Shebeko
- Igor Kirilov - chief presenter until the 1980s, reporting on major events such as the Red Square ceremonies and overseas visits of the Soviet leader
- Maya Sidrova
- Evgeny Suslov
- Gennardy Chetrov
- Eugene Kochergin
- Inna Ermilova
- Elena Kovalenko
- Anna Shatilova
- Yuri Kovelenov
- Victor Balashov
- Aza Lihitchenko
- Galina Zimenkova
- Nonna Bedrov
- Sergey Medvedev
- Leonid Elin
Russian Federation-era edition
- Igor Vykhuholev 1994-2003
- Nelly Petkova 1994-1996
- Tatiana Komarova 1994-1996
- Igor Gmyza 1995-1999
- Arina Sharapova 1996-1998
- Sergey Dorenko 1997-1999 (Information-analytic programme "VREMYA with Sergey Dorenko")
- Kyrill Kleimyonov 1998-2005 * Zhanna Agalakova 1998-2007
- Ekatherina Andreeva 1998–present
- Pawel Sheremet 1999-2001 (Information-analytic programme "VREMYA", Saturday)
- Andrew Baturin 2003-2005 ("VREMYA" at night, literally "Night time")
- Peter Marchenko 2003-2005
- Vitaly Eliseev 2007–present
- Peter Tolstoy 2005-2012 (Information-analytic programme "Sunday VREMYA")
- Irada Zeinalova 2012–present (Information-analytic programme "Sunday VREMYA")
- Aktuelle Kamera - Fernsehen der DDR – East Germany
- Dziennik Telewizyjny - TVP – Poland
- Televizní Noviny – ČST - Czechoslovakia
- Telejurnal - TVR - Romania
- Panorama (Панорама) – BNT - Bulgaria
- Xinwen Lianbo (新闻联播) – CCTV - People's Republic of China
- Podo (보도) - Korean Central Television – North Korea
- Noticiero Nacional de la Televisión Cubana - Cubavision - Cuba
- "Soviet news program comes to public TV". Gainesvile Sun. 20 February 1990. p. 6A.
- The U.S. Naval Academy Collection of Soviet & Russian TV
- Much of this article was translated from the Russian Wikipedia article about it.
- Time, Forward! (Vremya, vpered!), the famous theme tune by Georgy Sviridov