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(June 8, 2001) MOSCOW -- News Corp. has bought a majority stake in Moscow-based APR-City, the largest local operator in Russia's outdoor advertising market, which experienced significant growth last year.

Though it has media holdings throughout the world, News Corp. only operates FM-radio stations in Russia. In 1999, in cooperation with local company Logovaz, it launched the station "Our Radio/Nashe radio," which today ranks among the country's top six with $7 million in sales, according to research group Gallup AdFact. News Corp. recently launched a radio station called "Ultra."

APR-City CEO Maxim Tkachev said the company will be renamed News Outdoor by mid-summer.

APR-City controls 20% of Moscow's outdoor market, according to local marketing company Espar-Analyst. APR-City controls 5,000 poster sites in Russia.

News Corp. declined to comment on the deal, but Mr. Tkachev said there are plans to develop a number of new projects including AdNet, a network of plasma screen TVs located in leading local supermarkets chains including The Seventh Continent and Novoarbatsky. -- Sergey Rybak

Copyright June 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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