Odesskiy Listok (Odessa Page - "Одесский Листок" - Одесскій Листокъ - Odesskii Listok) Newspaper History

Odesskiy Listok newspaper was founded in 1872 by Vasiliy Vasilyevich Navrotsky, who started as a simple type-setter at a printing house and after saving the necessary amount of money, at the age of 21 began publishung his own one page newspaper "Odesskiy Listok Ob’yavleniy" ("Odessa Page of Announcements"). In 1880 he renamed the newspaper to "Odessaloy Listok" ("Odessa Page") and it gradually turned into one of the most respected and popular newspapers in Odessa.

Here worked the best Odessa journalists: S. T. Gertso-Vinogradskiy (Baron X), S. I. Sychevesky, A. K. Germonius, V. Ya. Luchinsky, brothers A. B. and K. B. Karbamyshev, A. S. Popandopulo, A. M. de Ribas (a grandson of the brother of the founder of Odessa and the author of the book "Old Odessa"), and etc.

The newspaper printed local and international news and reviews, pointed feuilletons on current issues, announcements and reviews of Russian and foreign artist tours and performances. On its pages you could read works by such popular authors as V. Doroshevich, A. Averchenko, A. Amfiteatrova, N. Teoformi, I. Bunin, A. Kuprin, L. Carmen, S. Yushkevich, K. Chukovsky, M. Gorkiy and many others.

The newspaper also printed a local Odessa gossips column, which caused it to acquire scandalous popularity. V. V. Navrotsky himself became hugely popular and was well loved in Odessa. The following facts testify to the success of his newspaper: With his own money Navrotsky constructed and maintained in the neighborhood of the 3-rd Station of the Big Fountain a Pushkin shelter for poor writers and journalists, where they received full room and board and were well taken care of. Once again, using only his own money, Navrotsky maintained, near the city center, a free-of-charge soup kitchen for poor writers and journalists. His employees were well paid, never in need and could fully concentrate on doing their work. Also, in 1891 Navrotsky became the very first owner of an automobile not only in Odessa, but in all of Russia, four years ahead of the first automobile gracing the streets of Russia’s northern capital, St. Petersburg!

He died suddenly in 1911. After his death, the newspaper continued to live and thrive, kept its former popularity and remained one of the most expensive newspapers in Odessa – in 1913 costing 10 roubles with appendixes.

The newspaper was closed in the beginning of 1920 by the decision of the Soviet People Committee…

In 1994 the idea to publish a new issue of "Odesskiy Listok" in honor of the 200th anniversary of Odessa came to Odessits from San Francisco after Odessit Michael Margulis, one of the activists (and to this day an associate editor of the newspaper), returned from Odessa with an issue of the original. This idea was carried out in August 1994, when a special issue came out as an appendix to the San Francisco Russian newspaper "Vzglyad." So it was done, and one would think that it would have been the end of it, instead it became the new beginning. Odessit Vadim Kvitash wanted to make "Odesskkiy Listok" into a monthly newspaper. He took on the role of the publisher, paid for the second issue and, when no other sponsors could be found, for many more issues afterwards. Poetess Tamara Belorusets became the editor of the renewed edition. Her niece Marina Taruch sponsored the third new issue. Payless Optical sponsored the fourth, doctor Edward Rokhlin – the fifth. Under Tamara's watchful eye, a total of 99 issues of the newspaper were published.

After Tamara's premature death in January, 2003, the newspaper was struggling with a number of other difficulties. The publisher’s own professional affairs required his full attention, disintegration of Odessa landsmen organization, disagreements between members of the San Francisco Odessit community, which the newspaper was unwittingly dragged into, increased expenses following the switch to a new larger color version, with tough consequences: increased printing and mailing costs, acute need to hire a professional editor (for a time Eduard Amchislavsky, an Odessa native living in New York, became that person) and computerized typesetting.

Vadim did not want to see the newspaper die and his wife, Ivetta Kvitash heroically took on the deluge of problems that befell it. Real Odessit never gives up and so Ivetta, with the assistance of one of the paper’s associate editors Sofiya Keylina, found a new owner to take over – the current "Odesskiy Listok" publisher – Baraban.Com. The new publisher again increased circulation and the number of pages in the newspaper, instituted subscriptions, added new distribution locations, replaced the chief editor, attracted new active members to participate on the editorial board, found new sponsors, advertisers, authors and volunteers, created OdessaPage.com website with full current issue content, online newspaper archive, author biographies and blogs, and most importantly, reacquired trust, interest and attention of our readership. New leadership also put a hard limit of 20% on outside advertising.

By focusing on the needs of our readers and choosing unique content over advertising, we have chosen a very difficult path to follow. This is why, despite all the positive changes, efforts, successes and unprecedented popularity, the newspaper continues to depend on financial support from our readers. You can support the newspaper by any of the following means: finding or becoming an issue sponsor, suggesting that your business acquaintances place their ads with "Odesskiy Listok," using services of our current advertisers and mentioning that you saw their ad in "Odesskiy Listok," placing a happy birthday, best wishes, in memoriam, or obituary notices, sending us a donation for any amount, or by subscribing.

"Odesskiy Listok" has a growing staff of contributing authors and volunteers who assist in selecting, proofreading and editing submitted content. Our current staff includes: Publisher – Jake Berzon, Baraban.Com. Chief editor – Tamara Dorfman (New York). Associate editors: Sofia Keylina, Paul Tsauder, Mikahil Petrenko and David Lusher (San Francisco), Yuriy Serper – culture (Berkeley, California), Mikhail Margulis (San Mateo, California), Iva Lvovskaya (North Hollywood), Olga Tseryabina (Los Angeles), Simon Livshin (San Diego), Yuriy Zhuravlev (Philadelphia), Vladimir Bant (Kfar-Saba, Israel). Correspondents, authors, writers and experts: Alexey Tseryabin – news (Odessa), Ana Zevelev – Russia (Moscow), [Victor Marmasov – Russia (St. Petersburg)], Alexander Maniovich – Europe (Berlin), Dima Klein – Australia (Melbourn), Mark Hromoy – culture (Rishon letsion, Israel), Valery Reznik – humor (Denver), Michael Talyanker – people (Los Angeles), Marina Ustinova – culture (Los Angeles), Si Frumkin – politics (Studio City, California), Victor Morgenstern – politics (Seaside, California), Alan Slepoy – people (San Francisco), Lydia Rabinovich – entertainment (Walnut Creek, California), Zoya Raysberg – psychology (Fremont, California) and etc. Volunteers: Elena Ivanova (Bennett, Colorado) and Maria Markovich (Clevelend).