A Talk With Vladimir Pozner

A Talk With Vladimir Pozner

On January 27 – 2015, world renowned Russian-American TV guru Vladimir Pozner came to the Jerusalem Press Club (JPC) to share his candid views with members of JPC. Pozner spoke about his Jewishness, about a film he is currently shooting in Israel, and about the situation in Russia today.


JPC Director General Uri Dromi awarded Pozner with an honorary JPC press member card.


Vladimir Pozner was born April 1, 1934, in Paris, France. He moved with his family to New York City in 1940 where he lived until late 1948, when his family moved to the Soviet-occupied zone of Berlin. In 1952 the family moved to Moscow, where he was enrolled at Moscow University and graduated in 1958 with an M.A. in biology.
Between 1958 and 1961 Pozner worked as a translator of Elizabethan poetry into Russian.
In 1961 Pozner joined Novosty Press Agency as a senior editor, later becoming executive editor of Soviet Life magazine and then Sputnik magazine.
In 1970 Pozner joined the USSR State Committee for TV & Radio as a commentator on the North American Service of Radio Moscow, where he worked until 1986. During that period, beginning in 1979, Pozner began to appear on US network television shows, mainly on Nightline (ABC), but also on a variety of other shows on NBC, CBS, CNN, as well as the CBC (Canada), the BBC, and television networks in France and Japan. It should be noted that Pozner was denied travel rights by the Soviet authorities — all the shows were done via satellite hookup.
In 1985-1986 Pozner co-hosted two “space bridges” with Phil Donahue. The first, called “A Citizen’s Summit,” ushered glasnost into Soviet TV and was supported by President Gorbachev. Pozner was promoted to the rank of political observer, the top journalistic post in the USSR.
With the advent of perestroika and glasnost, Pozner was allowed to travel (he had been let out of the country for a brief period between 1977 and 1980, but his passport was revoked in that last year when he criticized the Soviet military incursion in Afghanistan).
In 1989 Pozner resigned in protest from the Communist Party and in 1991 resigned from the State Committee of Television and Radio because of what he considered censorship.
That same year Pozner moved to New York City to work on a television show with Phil Donahue (Pozner & Donahue), which was first aired on WWOR and then on CNBC.
In 1990 The Atlantic Monthly Press published Pozner’s book, Parting With Illusions, which became a national bestseller and was on The New York Times list for 12 weeks. A second book, Eyewitness, a journalistic report on the failed coup of August 1991, was published by Random House in 1992.
In early 1997 Pozner returned to Moscow. He hosted two highly rated television shows on Russia’s most widely watched network, Russian Public Television. In the fall of 2000 he began hosting an end-of-the week political analysis show called The Times, which is presently ranked number one in Russia in the genre. He is the president of the Academy of Russian Television and the dean of The Pozner School of Television Journalism. In addition to those activities, Pozner served as vice president of Metromedia International, Inc. and hosted a two-hour weekly talk show for Radio-7.
Vladimir Pozner has won multiple Soviet, Russian, and American awards, including two Emmy certificates; its Russian equivalent, the Tefy award; and several international awards. He is internationally recognized and ranks among the most respected people in the television profession in Russia today.
Thanks to his experience, activities, and knowledge of several languages, Pozner has broad contacts in the world of politics, finances, culture and, of course, communications.

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