Gazprom Buys Russia’s Largest Circulation Newspaper

pravda.jpg From the Moscow Times:

Gazprom Snaps Up Best-Selling Tabloid Gazprom will expand its extensive media clout by buying the country’s most widely read newspaper, Komsomolskaya Pravda, the head of Gazprom’s media unit said Tuesday. … KP has a total readership of 8.4 million people, according to TNS Gallup Media. It is ranked No. 63 in the world by the World Association of Newspapers and prints 700,000 to 830,000 copies daily and 3.1 million on weekends. Kremlin critics say President Vladimir Putin has squeezed media freedoms by bringing major newspapers and television channels under the control of state-run companies like Gazprom. Analysts say the Kremlin is especially keen to bring major media outlets under its control ahead of presidential elections in 2008, when Putin must step down after two terms in office.