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Coin-hungry RTR dropping 36 shows.

Russia's Channel 2 pubcaster RTR is pulling 36 programs, including successful new ones, only months after a major scheduling overhaul tried to give a new face to the country's only fully state-owned network.

Financial problems, including underfunding--the channel received only 30% of allocated budgetary backing for 1997--appear to be dictating economies that have cut some of RTR's better innovations. These include "Good Evening," a top-rated chat show hosted by popular presenter Kiril Ugolnikov.

In an apparent move to simplify programming, RTR will aim for a tighter schedule, mixing news and films. At the same time, its proportion of entertainment programming has risen to 21%, the highest of any national broadcaster.

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Author:Birchenough, Tom
Publication:Variety
Date:Jun 21, 1999
Words:110
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