14 June 2007
A Russian banker and politician plans to launch a global Jewish television network. Vladimir Sloutsker, who is a senator in the Russian parliament and served as president of the Russian Jewish Congress some years ago, said that he believed a Jewish network was necessary to combat challenges facing the Jewish community, according to media reports. Sloutsker told the London based ‘Evening Standard’newspaper: “I believe an international Jewish television channel is a necessity. The Jewish community worldwide is currently facing and will face in the near future growing challenges worldwide.” He added: "In conditions of instability, there is a tendency to blame [this] on the Jews". It remains unclear if Sloutsker wants to set up the network with his own funds or seek other investors.
Adrian Monck, a professor of journalism at City University in London, said that it would cost US$ 40-80 million a year to run a TV news channel “with a decent news-gathering operation.” ‘France 24’, launched in December 2006 with the backing of the French government, has an annual budget of nearly US$ 100 million. News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch is reported to be spending the same amount on the US launch of his Fox business news channel later this year. Round-the-clock television news does not generate big ratings, except when there is a major news event, and many news stations do not turn a profit.