English speakers in Moscow will soon have a English language radio station, not the first but the first full time English station, on the FM dial in Moscow starting next Monday the 12th of November. Last month the Moscow Media Group negotiated broadcast rights with the city of Moscow for the 105.2FM frequency.
City officials say that the station will cater to English speaking residents and tourists. Officials believe that at least 150,000 English speakers reside and work in the greater Moscow area. In addition to expats it is estimated that over 5 million English speaking visitors come to Moscow each year. The city’s population is over 12 million and some estimates say closer to 14 million due to undocumented workers from Asia and former Soviet republics.
The station will occupy the frequency currently known as “Next 105.2” a station playing mainly R&B and Rock in English, featuring a playlist of singers like Vanilla Ice, Usher, Blondie, Pet Shop Boys, Rihanna, Madonna and Pink.
The new Moscow FM will likely begin on the airwaves on Monday, 12 November. Currently the Next 105.2 format remains on the air as of this report.
Station Chief Igor Shestakov of Moscow Media Group told Russian news service Kommersant that much of the content will come from state owned international news channel Russia Today television. Russia Today already provides programming from its Washington, DC (USA) programming facilities on stations in New York City and Washington, DC. Shestakov said that much of the news will be of interest to English speaking expats and Moscow residents.
Moscow residents may remember when Russian Oligarch Alexander Lebedev announced plans for an English-language radio station in Moscow in 2009.