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Business news, 28.09.2007 15:55

Sto Rebrands as 100TV, Unveils New Approach

tv_sets By Evgenia Ivanova

Staff Writer

Local television channel Sto is to be relaunched under the name 100TV, the channel announced Tuesday.

Following in the footsteps of another St. Petersburg-based TV station, Channel Five, which has been broadcasting nationally since last year, the channel will increase its news and analysis programming in its new season beginning Monday.

“The entertainment component as such has left the channel. We’re focused on giving our viewers information and analysis,” 100TV spokeswoman Alla Maslovskaya told the St. Petersburg Times on Thursday.

“Of course, all TV is entertaining in its essence, but our strategy is to make our viewers not only receive information, but also motivate them to think, analyze and get involved — we want to build a dialogue with them,” Maslovskaya said.

“At present we have 10 news programs a day: what other channel can boast of that?” Maslovskaya said.

“100TV is ready to become the most comprehensive and up-to-date news portal in our city and its surrounding area,” the channel said in a statement.

With plans to be on the air around the clock, the channel, whose new motto can be roughly translated as “No one is neglected,” says it begins the new season with “clear concept,” catering to all ages.

Some experts say the concept is far from being clear.

“To try and broadcast more news is not a concept at all, news programming makes up for only a couple of hours a day, and you have to fill in the rest of the time — and how the channel is going to do that is unclear,” Kirill Nikolayev, the head of Nikolayev e:Consulting, told The St. Petersburg Times.

While 100TV’s general producer Ilya Lazarev includes everyone “from 6 to 96” in his potential viewer base, Nikolayev says such an approach is “absurd.”

“[100 TV’s] biggest problem is that they don’t see their audience. To cater for every age given the highly competitive and segmented TV market in Russia is suicide,” he said in a telephone interview on Thursday.

Maslovskaya said news programming will attract viewers to watch 100TV.

“If you are interested in every news event in the city, naturally you turn to our channel,” she said.

Formerly known as Sto, which means “one hundred” in Russian, the channel decided to change direction after it changed its owner last year, and its then management team including the channel’s head, Viktoria Korkhina, its general producer, Andrei Maksimkov, and its financial director, Ilya Krylov, resigned.

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