Russian Billionaire/Former Soviet Spy to Speak at World Editors Forum

By: E&P Staff

Russian billionaire banker and former Soviet spy Alexander Lebedev, who now owns the London-based Evening Standard and the Independent, has joined the program of the World Editors Forum, June 7-10 in Beirut, Lebanon.

Lebedev bought the unprofitable Evening Standard for one British pound last year, then relaunched it as a free paper, increasing its readership. He bought the Independent and Independent on Sunday last month, also for a pound, though the seller, Independent News & Media, will pay Lebedev’s company 9.25 million pounds over 10 months to assume “all future trading liabilities and obligations.”

Lebedev will speak at a June 10 lunch. The World Editors Forum will feature special meetings in addition to its regular business sessions. Other speakers at these “social events” for a limited number of registered forum participants, include Saad Hariri, President of the Lebanese Council of Ministers, and Hassan Fadlallah, Chairman of the Lebanese Parliament Media Committee and a prominent member of Hezbollah.

Details are posted here.

Around 1,500 editors, publishers, CEOs, managing directors and other senior executives are expected to attend the forum, the World Newspaper Congress and Info Services Expo, the global summit meetings of the world’s press, organized by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) and hosted by the An-Nahar newspaper.

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