PBK leadership not giving definite info on future of channel news reporting

According to Sindia Fridenberg, the marketing manager at Latvia's Baltic Media Alliance (BMA), parent company of TV channel PBK, information being reported in the media that PBK's news service will stop reporting news in the second half of March is speculation, as opportunities are only just being considered.

"PBK's leadership is currently considering and preparing for various scenarios for the development of its news service," Fridenberg told ERR's Russian-language online news portal on Tuesday. "At this moment, not one option has been confirmed, and no decisions have been made. We are calling on our colleagues not to speculate based on unofficial information, because as soon as we make our decisions about the future of our news service, we will let you know."

The marketing manager declined to reveal what scenarios are being considered, nor could she say how events in Latvia are impacting PBK's news service in Estonia.

"I cannot comment on this question, as Latvia and Estonia's news services are two independent structures, although the 'faces' of the news are one and the same," Friedenberg said. "I cannot comment right now regarding how this will impact Estonia's news service."

BMA director Irina Kozõrenko declined to comment on the matter.

BMA is the parent company of PBK, several ad agencies, the distributor of the TV channel Tem LV, print media publisher Print Media, and newspapers MK Latvija and MK Estonia.

Latvian Television (LSM) announced on Monday that according to unconfirmed information, PBK will be reporting the news for the last time on March 20. The article was unclear, however, regarding whether PBK would stop reporting the news only in Latvia or elsewhere as well.

Earlier this month, Estonia's Internal Security Service and Latvia's State Security Service (VDD) searched the Riga and Tallinn offices of BMA in connection with suspicions of the violation of international sanctions.

According to ERR's information, at the center of an investigation launched by Latvia and supported by Estonia is the financial reach of influential Russian businessman Yury Kovalchuk into the Baltics. Kovalchuk has been referred to in Western media as Russian President Vladimir Putin's personal banker.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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