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Dow Jones, Pearson sell stake in Russian’s liberal daily

November 20, 2015

Dow Jones and Pearson announced Friday plans to sell their stakes in the Russian daily Vedomosti, opening the way for a Russian businessman to consolidate control of the few critical voices left in the Moscow press.

“Due to the newly passed law limiting foreign ownership of media organisations in Russia, Dow Jones and Pearson have entered into an agreement to divest their stakes in Vedomosti,” they said in a statement.

They will sell their shares to the family of former journalist and media executive Damian Kudryavtsev.

Finnish media company Sanoma agreed in April to sell its 33.3 percent stake in Vedomosti to Kudryavtsev.

Vedomosti, which often publishes reporting and analysis critical of the Kremlin, is considered Russia’s last liberal daily.

It had been jointly owned by Sanoma, Dow Jones and Pearson, and comes out on salmon newsprint like the Pearson’s flagship daily, The Financial Times.

A Russian law passed last year caps foreign media ownership, so the paper must bring total foreign stakes to under 20 percent before February 2016.

Dispatches from AFP concerning freedom of information, censorship and news coverage in regions where independent media is under threat.