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City Hall to Start Radio Station for Expats

An English-language radio station catering to expats, foreign tourists and local residents will hit the airwaves in Moscow on Nov. 12, a news report said Friday.

The station, called Moscow FM, is controlled by City Hall and will broadcast news on foreign and domestic topics and international music on 105.2 FM, Kommersant reported.

The news content will be produced by state-funded English-language TV channel Russia Today and will make up 20-30 percent of the airtime, Moscow Media editor-in-chief Igor Shestakov told the daily.

The city has been making a concerted effort to reach out to tourists and English speakers of late, Deputy Mayor Andrei Sharonov told The Moscow Times in June. Authorities even have a plan to make city cops learn English.

Street signs in English went up in downtown Moscow earlier this year, and the creation of a tourist center was also announced.

But the new station could face problems reaching foreign tourists, few of whom rent cars to get around in Moscow.

Moscow currently has a handful of English-language media outlets apart from The Moscow Times, including print publications The Moscow News and entertainment newspaper Element.

RIA-Novosti, the owner of Moscow News, announced earlier this year that the newspaper would go from being published twice a week to once a week. RIA also runs its own online English-language news service.

The founders of Moscow FM estimate that 150,000 expats work full-time in Russia, many of them in Moscow, the Kommersant report said.

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