Sidelined by TV, Sobchak Takes Helm at Glossy Magazine

Sobchak speaking to journalists Wednesday after holding a news conference. Nikolaus von Twickel

TV host and opposition activist Ksenia Sobchak is taking a crack at print journalism by editing SNC magazine, a glossy lifestyle publication published by the Moscow-based Artcom media group and directed at young urban women.

Sobchak said Wednesday at a presentation of the relaunched monthly that her job would not be political, although the magazine would differ from mainstream glossies by targeting readers with "progressive awareness."

"We will mix fashion with significant public and social issues," she said, adding that she wants readers "to dig deeper."

The magazine's 192-page September issue includes interviews with a yoga teacher and a Russian cleric about the compatibility of yoga and Orthodoxy. In her first editorial, Sobchak muses about the fact that she did not fall out with a childhood friend who is a devout believer despite their differing opinions about the Pussy Riot trial.

Once the country's most prominent socialite, Sobchak has seen herself sidelined from national television since she joined the protest movement that sprang up after December's State Duma elections.

However, Sobchak does not want to give up her television career. She said that despite her new job as editor, she would add another show on the online Dozhd TV channel, where she already hosts a show called "Sobchak Live." She also said she would continue to develop shows for the Snob.ru site and host a show on Silver Rain radio.

But she said she plans to devote most of her time to SNC, a job she called a logical continuation of her career. In a dig at the authorities and state-controlled TV channels, which have canceled her shows, she said that while "you can take away a person's money, clothes and maybe even freedom, you cannot take away a person's abilities."

Police raided Sobchak's apartment in May, seizing more than $1.7 million in cash from a safe. Investigators have refused to return the money, calling it evidence.

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