Chief of new ERR Russian-language channel named ({{commentsTotal}})

Darja Saar has been appointed the head of ERR's new Russian-language TV channel.

Saar was chosen from 23 candidates. Ainar Ruusaar, member of ERR board, said the final choice was made between four very strong candidates.

"It was a difficult choice to make. We interviewed all four candidates twice. Darja Saar was very confident and forward-looking in her vision. She had a clear understanding that it's not just a TV channel but a multimedia project," Ruusaar told ERR's radio news.

"I'm confident that under the leadership of Darja Saar, ERR will be able to launch a new independent media channel, which will offer a platform and freedom of expression for journalists, experts and opinion leaders."

Saar will start in her new position in April. She said her first aim is to successfully launch the channel on September 28 and involve the local Russian-language community as much as possible, to offer quality programs and a platform for public debate. She added that the channel aims to be inclusive and offer self-realization to local Russian-speakers.

"We will run a Crossmedia Hackathon in the end of May. It's an event where every citizen can come out with a TV or multimedia format. They have one week to develop it into a full-blown media product with the aid of mentors," she said.

Saar is the CEO of the Youth Entrepreneurship Ideas Contest and Development Program Entrum, which offers free entrepreneurial education to 13-19-year-olds and promotes entrepreneurial mind-set in Estonia and other post-soviet countries. In 2013 she was named the Estonian Young Woman Entrepreneur of the Year. She also produces a radio talk show on Sky Radio station.

Prior to embarking on a professional career in business and media, Saar was a top level rhythmic gymnast and a member of the national teams of Kazakhstan and Estonia.

The government approved the Russian-language channel in November 2014. The channel's budget for 2015 is 2.53 million euros. The current plan is to air two one-hour programs per day, plus news, in addition to shows and films purchased in from other producers.

Editor: M. Oll

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