TV show cancelled for showing Putin divorce material

    By IANS/RIA Novosti,

    Moscow: A Russian TV presenter has claimed that his show was pulled off air because of its take on the recent news that President Vladimir Putin is getting divorced.

    In his status update on a social network, Vladislav Sorokin claimed that concerns were first raised by City Hall over material about the Moscow Mayor’s resignation that was due to feature in the “Social Network” show on Russia’s new public broadcaster OTR.

    After re-working the show to include what he described as a Russian video version of the list of “16 Photos Vladimir Putin Should Use on his New Online Dating Profile”, the OTR network decided to cut the programme, Sorokin claimed.

    Anatoly Lysenko, head of OTR, has dismissed the claim saying that the show was not broadcast due to technical problems.

    “It’s a lie, nothing was shut down,” Lysenko said Saturday.

    OTR started broadcasting May 19, and lists its aims as developing civil society in Russia, information and education, and promoting moral values.

    Last year, outgoing president Dmitry Medvedev promised that the channel would be “free from excessive state influence”.

    Initial plans for it to be publicly funded on something akin to the BBC model foundered, and instead it is directly state-funded.

    The “Social Network” was one of the network’s most news-driven shows and is described on the OTR site as a forum for the discussion of political, cultural and social events.