Bad News from Russia

The 112 million viewers who regularly tuned into the top-rated NTV television news show Namedni (The Other Day) were used to the show's anchor, Leonid Parfyonov, lambasting Russian President Vladimir Putin — even mocking Putin's resemblance to Dobby the house elf from the Harry Potter movies. But Parfyonov's performance last week was uncharacteristically subdued, given that he had recently announced plans to end the program. Still, even if expected, the final sign-off came as a shock: "Namedni will not appear again ... Good luck." Namedni's demise means the end for NTV, once Russia's only private national television station. After a three-year...

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