Russian president Vladimir Putin have signed a decree which assigns a homophobic TV presenter Dmitry Kiselev as a head of the restructured state sponsored news agency “Rossiya Segodnya” (Russia Today). Kiselev stirred controversy in April, 2012 when during his TV show he said that imposing fines on gays for homosexual propaganda is not enough, they should be “banned from donating blood, sperm, and their hearts should be buried or burned in case of a car crush as unsuitable for prolonging someone’s life”.
The restructured agency is being formed on the basis of RIA Novosti news agency which is to be shut down, as well as the “Voice of Russia” radio broascast. According to the decree, “Rossiya Segodnya” will be dedicated to “broadcasting abroad an overview of state politics of Russian Federation and its social life”. It’s not clear in what relation “Rossiya Segodnya” will be with the “Russia Today” TV channel also sponsored by the Russian state, already broadcating abroad in English and several other foreign languages.
The official reason for restructuring is announced as budget cuts and “raising of efficiency”.