Vladimir Putin just dissolved major state media organisation RIA Novosti, which has been around since 1941.
In its place will be a new organisation run by a TV presenter who had been embroiled in anti-gay remarks.
RIA Novosti’s own report characterises the move as an effort to tighten the state’s grip on the media.
The Kremlin announced Monday the dissolution of RIA Novosti, the country’s major state-run news agency, amid a significant reorganization of state-owned media assets.
News agency RIA Novosti and the state-owned Voice of Russia radio will be scrapped and absorbed into a new media conglomerate called Rossiya Segodnya, according to a decree signed by President Vladimir Putin.
The move is the latest in a series of shifts in Russia’s news landscape, which appear to point toward a tightening of state control in the already heavily regulated media sector.
In a separate decree published Monday, the Kremlin appointed Dmitry Kiselyov, a prominent Russian television presenter and media manager recently embroiled in a scandal over anti-gay remarks, to head Rossiya Segodnya.
Head of the presidential administration Sergei Ivanov said the changes were about saving money and making state media more effective.
“Russia has its own independent politics and strongly defends its national interests: it’s difficult to explain this to the world but we can do this, and we must do this,” Ivanov told reporters.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.