|Broadcast area||Russia and other CIS countries|
|Headquarters||17/1 Zubovsky Boulevard, Moscow, Russia|
|Picture format||1080i HDTV|
(downscaled to 16:9 576i for the SDTV feed)
|Owner||100% — National Media Group|
|Launched||1 January 1997|
|Former names||REN TV-HBC (1997-1998)|
|VHF||Channel 9 (nationwide)|
|Natsionalnye Kabelnye Seti||Various|
REN TV (Russian: РЕН ТВ), a Russian free-to-air television network, was founded on 1 January 1997 by Irena Lesnevskaya and her son, Dmitry Lesnevsky, who had been running Ren TV as a production house for other national Russian television channels. Though it focuses mostly on audiences aged between 18 and 45 years old, the network offers programming for a wide range of demographics.
Ren TV's network is a patchwork of 406 independent broadcasting companies in Russia and the CIS. Ren's signal is received in 718 towns and cities in Russia - from Kaliningrad in the West to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk in the East. It has a potential audience of 113.5 million viewers (officially 120 million viewers with more than 12 million of them living in Moscow city and Moscow Oblast (Moscow Region). Ren TV works with 10 broadcaster affiliates and 19 cable operators in the CIS and the Baltic states; 181 cities can receive Ren TV's signal.
Until 1 July 2005 the channel belonged to its founder Irena Lesnevskaya and her son (30%) and the Russian utility RAO UES headed by Anatoly Chubais. In 2005 Bertelsmann's RTL bought 30% of REN TV with steel maker Severstal and oil and natural gas company Surgutneftegaz each buying 35%.
Severstal's Alexey Germanovich on 18 December 2006 ceded the chairperson of REN TV's board to Lyubov Sovershaeva, President Vladimir Putin's former deputy envoy to the North-West federal okrug and chairperson of the board at ABRos Investments, a subsidiary of St Petersburg's Russia bank. ABRos had bought a considerable stake in REN. The bank, whose chairman, Yury Kovalchuk, was a close friend of President Vladimir Putin, owned 38% of its home town's TRK Petersburg TV channel – and was likely to buy more of that company, analysts had told 19 December 2006's Kommersant-daily. REN TV and TRK Petersburg would merge into a single media holding, though they would operate independently, industry observers had told the daily.
Russian media had reported that oil and gas group Surgutneftegaz had sold its stake in the channel to ABRos, which had increased its stake in the media company from 45% to 70%. '[T]here are indications that Bertelsmann was interested in selling up, after about 18 months in the Russian TV market,' the broadcasting news website added.
In November 2005 REN TV fired Olga Romanova, the anchor of its daily 24 news flagship. Despite much publicity around the incident, her independent manner of reporting was continued by Marianna Maksimovskaya, formerly an anchor and news presenter for Vladimir Gusinsky's NTV Station. Maksimovskaya was in charge of news broadcasts on REN TV until 2014, when she was fired. Due to her activities, the channel was arguably Russia's only major TV outlet with liberal views, discussing the problem of state censorship and showing interviews with leaders of the political fringe (including Other Russia).
Prior to her departure from the channel, Romanova had told the Radio Free Europe on 25 November 2005 that the channel's head, Alexander Ordzhonikidze had pulled two recent stories for, she felt, political reasons. One censored item had covered an investigation into Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov's son's involvement in a road accident in which a woman died. Romanova spoken about the alleged censorship on Ekho Moskvy radio on 23 November 2005 – and the next day Ordzhonikidze barred from entering the channel's building. A second 'banned item had been about the building in central Moscow of a US$15 million church and clock tower by Zurab Tsereteli, the International Press Institute noted in its report on 2005.
Ordzhonikidze said in an interview for Echo of Moscow radio station that REN's news output had low ratings and management had decided to try other anchors on the evening newscasts. "Besides, it's hard for one person to anchor all the nightly newscasts every day of the week. [They] might just feel ill," he had added.
In solidarity with Romanova, several of her journalist colleagues quit the channel in December 2005. Head of news and deputy channel director, Yelena Fedorova, told Radio Liberty's Russian Service (Radio Svoboda) why she had resigned. "A lot of content-related directives have passed by me. As a journalist, I cannot put up with that, I cannot live with that," she told state news agency RIA Novosti on 5 December 2005. Editor Olga Shorina and producer Tatyana Kolokova were also planning to leave the channel because, they said, it was impossible to perform their professional duties.
The company which produced several high-profile feature films, notably the Golden Lion-winning Vozvrashcheniye in 2003, is still a production house and has made much of the network's scheduled content, including numerous TV series:
- Soldiers (Russian: Солдаты), following recruits drafted into the Russian Army for their mandatory year of military service. 16 seasons as of 2009[update].
- Students (Russian: Студенты), following the social lives of several Moscow University for the Humanities students. (2005-2006)
- Tourists (Russian: Туристы), following several couples on vacation on a beach resort in Turkey. (2005)
- Prison Break (as Побег) since September 4, 2006
- Family Guy (as Гриффины)
- Friends (as Друзья)
- M*A*S*H (as МЭШ)
- My Name Is Earl (as Меня зовут Эрл) since 2006
- Supernatural (as Сверхъестественное) since September 2006
- The 4400 (as 4400) since November 26, 2006
- The Simpsons (as Симпсоны)
- The X-Files (as Секретные материалы)
- Jetix, children's adventure programming from Disney
Current purchased/licensed programming:
- Persons Unknown (as Неизвестные лица) since November 2012
- Top Gear Russia (Russian: Top Gear: Русская версия) since February 22, 2009
Other shows include at the moment:
- Граница Времени (The Edge of Time) - self-produced science fiction series, airs from 2015
REN TV has been accused of combining pieces of scientific shows and interviews to produce pseudoscientific "documentaries". In 2015, REN TV's documentaries were awarded "the most harmful pseudoscientific project (for spreading of myths, delusions and superstitions)" antiprize by the Ministry of Education and Science for propaganda of conspiracy theories and mistrust for science.
- Media holding company Ren TV (in Russian).
- Worldwide operations, RTL corporate website. Retrieved on 2007-07-28.
- "New leader in Northwest Russia appointed 2006-10-05", Health care, 5 October 2006 (Newsletter from the North-West of Russia, The East Europe Committee of the Swedish Health Care Community), p. 4. Retrieved on 2007-07-28. Cites for Sovershaeva's former role.
- (in Russian) Масс-медиа: Друг президента стал акционером "Рен ТВ" (Mass-media: drug prezidenta stal aktsionerom 'Ren TV', "Mass-media: Friend of the President became a shareholder of REN TV", Lenta.ru (Rambler Media Group) 19 December 2006.
- President’s Mate Takes Over Ren TV Archived 2007-09-30 at the Wayback Machine, Kommersant-daily, 19 December 2006. Retrieved on 2007-07-27.
- Abros ups stake in Ren TV, broadbandtvnews.com, Cambridge, UK, 20 April 2007. Retrieved on 2007-07-28.
- (in German) Russischer Sender feuert kritische Journalistin Archived 2007-02-23 at the Wayback Machine ("Russian channel fired critical journalist"), NDR Fernsehen, 7 December 2005.
- Julie A. Corwin, Russia: Prominent Journalist To Defend Journalists' Rights Archived 2007-08-04 at the Wayback Machine, Radio Free Europe, 29 November 2005. Retrieved on 2007-07-27.
- 2005 World Press Freedom Review: Russia Archived 2007-09-29 at the Wayback Machine, International Press Institute, Vienna. Retrieved on 2007-07-27.
- REN TV anchor Olga Romanova to sue management, RIA Novosti, Moscow, 25 November 2005. Retrieved on 2007-07-27
- Interview: REN-TV News Editor Explains Her Resignation, Radio Free Europe, 6 December 2005.
- REN TV editor resigns, RIA Novosti, Moscow, 5 December 2005. Retrieved on 2007-07-27.
- Soldaty Soldiers, official site.
- Studenty, official site.
- А. М. Черепащук «Бесстыдство некоторых российских СМИ поражает воображение» // Бюллетень «В защиту науки», № 9, 2011 год, стр. 17-18, копия
- "Телеканал РЕН ТВ получил антипремию за лженауку" [REN TV received an anti-award for pseudoscience]. klnran.ru (in Russian). Commission on Pseudoscience. 2015-02-10. Retrieved 2016-01-17.
- Представителей СМИ и популяризаторов науки наградили премией "За верность науке" Check
|url=value (help) (in Russian). Ministry of Education and Science of Russia. 11 Feb 2015.