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Cash-strapped TV channel heads for closure

Schuster says he folds it in a month

Cash-strapped TV channel heads for closure
Photo: Photo: www.kp.ru

The TV channel of Savik Shuster 3s.tv stops working as of 1 January, 2017, the channel said 1 December on its Facebook page.

The reason is lack of funding, the channel said.

"The situation on the nation's media market is brought to the point of absurdity as all channels work at a loss and only exist at the expense of their owners, the oligarchs. Under these conditions, our attempt to work as a normal business has failed. We face criminal charges and penalties from the tax authority. Savik's work permit has been revoked," the report said.

"Of all the representatives of business to which we have referred to, only one person came to our rescue. Unless someone responds in the next few weeks, we should call it a wrap. We have everything - the studio, technology, and most importantly - the people," reads the statement.

In the meantime, the employees of the TV channel have filed in applications of dismissal.

On April 26, Kyiv City Employment Centre cancelled the work permit to Italian citizen Schuster, citing a letter from the national fiscal service that said criminal proceedings had been launched against Schuster in a tax avoidance case.

On 28 April, employment authorities have suspended the ban after a court trial and allowed Schuster to work in Ukraine.

In August, tax authorities again fined Shuster's company.

Originally, Schuster's program appeared on ICTV as the Freedom of Speech, then moved to Inter as the Freedom of Savik Shuster. In 2008 it went over to the channel Ukraina as Schuster Live.

After a relatively short tenure on the First National Channel, the show returned to Inter and then to the First National again.

On January 1, 2015, the state TV concern refused to extend contract with Schuster and the show moved to Channel 24.

In February 2015, the Channel 24 parted ways with Shuster Live after the February 13 broadcast, when the invited controversial Russian journalist Maxim Shevchenko issued a few scandalous statements about the "punitive operation" and "fratricidal war" in Donbas.

Shuster moved to the Channel 112 but in September 2015 appeared on1+1. In a very short period of time the talk show was taken off the air. He launched an own cable channel named 3s in a month after that.