"I can do anything": what is remembered about former press minister Mikhail Lesin

The former press minister and, until recently, one of the most influential people in the Russian media market Mikhail Lesin, has passed away. 
Origin source
Mikhail Lesin, died of a heart attack, said the evening of November 6, RIA Novosti reported with reference to his relatives. It clarifies the ABC News, Yassin's body was found in the morning on November 5 Dupont Hotel in Washington DC. He was 57 years old.

The former minister, businessman and head of the largest media holdings in the country, Lesin more than 20 years has been one of the key figures in the Russian media market.

"For example, I never wondered: I can not. There was no alternative. All I can! "- Characterized himself Lesin in an interview. The list of his works, is really impressive: only the last half a year the head of "Gazprom-Media" Lesin had to close one of the largest transactions in the history of the Russian media market, actually disband sales house "Gazprom-Media", the only competitor Lesin founded the group " Video International ", and to revive the national television award Taffy.

Yassin last return in the media business, is believed to have contributed to his close friend, the first deputy head of presidential administration, Alexei Gromov. More surprising to the pastyear was the resignation of Yassin as head of "Gazprom-Media". RBC recalls what else he will be remembered for the industry.

"Vote heart"

Lesin was born July 11, 1958 in Moscow in a military family builder. At the end of the 1970s, he served in the army, after he entered the Moscow Civil Engineering Institute named after Kuibyshev (IISS). In his student years Lesin became interested in KVN, was the director of the humorous television program "Jolly Fellows" - this was the beginning of his career in the media.

However, humorous programs Lesin was not enough. "I started with the business for many years and it has worked," - he said in an interview with Forbes in the summer of 2014. In 1987, Lesin with a friend on a student fill in KVN Yuri founded the advertising agency, later dubbed "Video And NTERNATIONAL." By the early 2000s, it has grown into the largest seller of advertising in the country. Now it is called the Vi and sells advertising on all major federal channels, except for NTV and TNT. Zapol died of cancer in 2005, after which the head of the agency has become a common one and fill in Lesin, Sergei Vasiliev.

In 1994, Lesin headed broadcaster as part of RIA Novosti news agency, and two years later - was actively involved in the presidential election campaign of Boris Yeltsin. Lesin, for example, is credited with creating the slogan "Vote heart", the authorship of the rollers "I believe, love, hope," "Save and Protect", and even the president's weekly radio address to the country. He is also the first time in an interview, Yeltsin spoke about the problems with the heart and emergency operations. After the election, Lesin briefly headed the Presidential Administration Public Relations.

In 1997, he became the first deputy head of VGTRK, and took an active part in the creation of the state media holding company in its current form. When it entered the holding, for example, a radio station

"Mayak" and regional STRC.

RTR actively use state benefits. Subsidized from the state budget VGTRK criticized the fact that the Vice-Chairman of its Lesina has a conflict of interest. "The benefits provided by the state VGTRK, unprecedented. Apparently, the state is more important not to RAO "UES" and "Gazprom", and gstatehood TV, - says in an interview at that time, the general director of ORT (now - "First Channel") Kseniya Ponomareva. - This is a matter of course, the state. Still, there is a line of decency. When one of the officers VGTRK Mikhail Lesin in combination - mediated leader of the largest advertising group, this is called unfair competition. " The very "Video International", however, claimed that Lesin came out of the number of its shareholders in 1994.

portfolio Minister

In 1999 he headed the Ministry of Press Lesin, Broadcasting and Mass Communications Sergei Stepashin government. During the parliamentary (1999) and presidential (2000) elections, he was a key figure in the pro-Kremlin first campaign headquarters bloc "Unity", and then - has become the successor to Vladimir Putin, Yeltsin.

While serving as Press Minister Lesin took an active part in one of the most controversial stories of the early 2000s - in the transition assets "Media-Most" Vladimir Gusinsky under the control of "Gazprom" and the so-called colloquialohm old NTV. In March 2000, "Gazprom" sent "Media-Most" requirement to pay $ 211.6 million, which is itself "Gazprom" previously listed bank Credit Suisse First Boston on the loan "Media-Most". Negotiations reached an impasse, and June 13, 2000, Vladimir Gusinsky was arrested on charges of embezzling $ 10 million in the privatization of the company "Russian Video".

Three days later, Gusinsky was released on bail, and a month later - has signed an agreement for the sale of "Media-Most" to "Gazprom" for $ 773 million, of which $ 473 million went to debt set-off. The agreement was complemented by the famous application №6, stating that the transaction is valid only if the termination of the criminal prosecution of Gusinsky. On the visa agreement was press minister Mikhail Lesin.

In September Gusinsky refused the deal, saying it was "virtually at gunpoint." "Negotiations began in that moment, when I was in prison and suggestions received from the Minister for Press and Information ... Lesina" - the oligarch said in an interview "Echo of Moscow". Print Minister received the awardp-Minister Mikhail Kasyanov, a verbal reprimand for interfering in a dispute entities. But the deed was done: the 2001 "Media-Most" assets under the control of "Gazprom", which is created on the basis of their holding "Gazprom-Media".

When Lesin, Minister of Press in 2003 from the VGTRK was derived RIA Novosti news agency, transformed to the Ministry of printing. It Lesin invited to lead the agency Svetlana Mironyuk, who led the RIA to 2013. In a recent interview with Forbes, she stated that her views and vzgdyad Lesina that the public interest is considered, then badly broke. It Lesina she called one of the initiators of her retirement. "This is a public service, where one does not give any guarantees," - so last fall in an interview with Forbes commented on changes in the RIA itself Lesin. This rule he had to learn, and by example.

In 2004, Lesin was replaced by the post of minister for the status of the president of the Media Adviser. In this role, he was one of the initiators of the launch in 2005 of TV channel Russia Today, which was supposed to translationalRowan Russian view of the world to foreign audiences. But in 2009, Lesin was suddenly dismissed. The formal reason, wrote Interfax, has been called "failure to comply with the rules of the civil service and ethical conduct of civil servants."

Post passed

Among the reasons for the resignation of loud Interfax source in the presidential administration called the use of his position Lesin "for issues not related to official duties."

In September 2009, members of the National Media Group television stations REN TV and the "Channel Five" have agreed that from 2010 to sell advertising in their air will not be sales house "Gazprom-Media" as before, and "Video International". Take advantage of its services the main shareholder of bank "Russia" Yury Kovalchuk (then the National Media Group has been closely associated with the bank) is advised Lesin, said one of his friends.
Guide "Gazprom-Media" then complained to the "Video International" in the presidential administration, Dmitry Medvedev, who is not a relationship with an advisor, bringingl decision to dismiss Yassin, told sources close to the "Video International", and confirmed the federal official.

In December 2009, immediately after the resignation of Yassin, the Duma in record time, it adopted the amendments to the law "On Advertising", limited in 2011 the share of "Video International" 35% of all advertising budgets, raised on the federal channels in the previous two years. Business largest seller commercials seemed doomed, but that did not happen: in the summer of 2010, the founders and top managers of "Video International" have sold 100% of the group structure associated with the bank "Russia" and its founders.

After leaving the presidential administration, Lesin in 2010-2011 was a member of the board of directors of the "National telecommunications" (at that time belonged to the National Media Group), but from active participation in the life of the Russian media has departed. He moved to California and engaged in fishing, family, helped his son Anton, fascinated by the movie business in Hollywood. But watch out for things Lesin not stop in Russia, maintaining contact with all the key players in the media market.

Return to Lesina cases was unexpected and triumphant. In autumn 2013, Nikolai Senkevich, almost ten years headed the holding "Gazprom-Media", suddenly left his post early. A guide's largest private media holding of the country just as suddenly charged Lesin.

The holding "Gazprom-Media" includes TV stations NTV, TNT, radio "Echo of Moscow», Comedy Radio, video hosting Rutube, newspaper "Seven Days" and other media assets. In fact, the company (the largest shareholder - Gazprombank) is under state control, and the decision on the appointment of its head takes as told RBC interlocutors in the media market, the president. It was believed that the return of Yassin helped his close friend, the first deputy head of presidential administration, Alexei Gromov.

"Lesin particularly lobbying is not necessary, it is also one of the key figures in the market", - refuted this version of Putin's press secretary Dmitry Peskov. "In this case, I think it has affected the industry need to ensure that such people were involved, and his personal need to disclose their potential &raquo ;, - he said he told Forbes.

In his new position Lesin immediately began to buy up the assets: in just two months later, he made a deal with the holding "Profmedia" Vladimir Potanin, acquiring entertainment channels "Friday", TV3 and "2x2", "Autoradio" station and "Humor the FM" and the film company "Central Partnership ". Purchase cost "Gazprom-Media" at $ 602 million. Loan commitments "Gazprom-Media" after the transaction increased six-fold, to 32 billion rubles. But Lesin considered the acquisition of assets very successful step, seeing in it great potential for synergies with the TV and radio stations of their holding. Today, the former TV "Profmedia" - one in the "Gazprom-Media" of the fastest growing assets.

Also engaged in the consolidation of purchases Lesin prodakshenov and advertising divisions within the holding, changed several top managers, including long-term general director of "Echo of Moscow" Jury Fedutinova. From that moment began Lesina conflict with the radio station, fell deeply in the autumn of 2014 in a public scandal. The head of "Gazprom-Media" has tried to dismisss journalist of "Echo" Alexandra Ivy for inappropriate behavior in social networks. This was done to bypass the chief editor of radio station Alexei Venediktov and was seen as an attack on the latter.

"Gazprom-Media" - one of the leading players in the industry, and we are obliged to defend their interests in the market ", - said in an interview of Forbes Lesin, answering the question of whether he wants to participate in the affairs of industry. One holding Mikhail Lesin, really, it was not enough - he quickly moved his energy for the entire media market. On his initiative, for example, was revived Taffy Award, created by the Industrial Committee on telemetry, which was acceptable to all viewers determine Meter (rating - a key indicator for the sale of advertising, the main source of income channels), began to form a new single television advertising salesman.

The market is talking about the return of the Minister - albeit in the shadow status. But Yassin activity, its complex nature and the desire to consolidate the promotional streams on the TV market were not at all like. "In addition, many do not like me, I'm givingaccustomed to ", - he said a top manager of the Forbes interview in August 2014, a few months later suddenly left the post predpravleniya" Gazprom-Media ".

Close to Lesin people talked about the personal reasons for his resignation, including if you feel unwell top manager. But the market believed that his resignation had other reasons - a complicated relationship with the heads of federal channels, and the head of the board of directors of "Gazprom-Media" Alexei Miller. Lesina Initiative podvisli his departure: in particular, as well as a single meter TV audience was not selected, create a new seller commercials also stalled.

"As far as I know, Mikhail Yurevich, and I know him a long time, in certain circumstances, is always more important is his will, rather than any external factors," - said about the care of Yassin "Gazprom M edia" Deputy Minister of Communications and mass Media of Russia Alexey Volin.

Sam Lessin reasons for dismissal is not officially commented. After retiring, he spent several months in Switzerland, where the treatment took place, then went to his caliphniysky house. In matters of the media industry, he practically did not participate, but, as he himself admitted in a recent conversation with the correspondent of RBC, the old habit continued to follow her life.