Issues

Russian-Backed News Station Replaces Bluegrass on D.C. Radios

Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin / AP

A Russian-backed news network is taking over a Washington, D.C. radio station that played bluegrass.

Sputnik, which is funded by the Russian government, will now broadcast on 105.5 FM in the D.C. area, according to DCist. The network currently employs around 40 people in its D.C. office and is still setting up programming for the station. Some of its current programming is news from other Sputnik offices in Moscow and Edinburgh.

Sputnik includes a three-hour long radio show on weekdays at noon hosted by Thom Hartmann, a host from the Kremlin-funded news network RT. A show about social justice movements hosted by a D.C.-based activist plays after Hartmann's.

The radio station has more unusual programs, including a show hosted by both a former Breitbart writer and a progressive. A member of the anti-war, anti-Israel group ANSWER has a show as well.

Mindia Gavasheli, the editor in chief of Sputnik U.S., told DCist that most weekend content is produced out of Moscow.

Sputnik has faced controversy due to its Russian ties. Its former White House correspondent, Andrew Feinberg, quit the organization and blasted it for its political stance. Feinberg said on Twitter that Sputnik "isn't happy with real journalists. They'd rather have ACTUAL propagandists operate anonymously."