Major Russian newspaper, magazine publisher launches portal

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MOSCOW--Russian publishing house Independent Media is investing $5 million to create a general interest Internet portal. McKinsey consultancy and local investment fund Renaissance are assisting with the launch.

Independent Media's publications include magazines (Cosmopolitan,Playboy and Good Housekeeping), English-language daily newspapers (The Moscow Times and St. Petersburg Times) and Vedomosti, the Russian-language business newspaper published in cooperation with the Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal.

The site hopes to attract 1.5 million visitors, or a third of the country's Internauts, by 2001. The site will contain men's and women's sections, and information on entertainment, cinema, autos, horoscopes, politics, general news and business, plus links to leading online retail sites. The site editor is Konstantion Chernozatonsky, a former chief-editor of Playboy Russia.

Independent Media is to spend $400,000 on advertising through Internet advertising specialist Lebedev.

Copyright May 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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