This study analyzes the biographies of a number of Soviet communications officials in order to address some fundamental and increasingly important questions about the communications process and about prospects for responding to the dilemmas that recent information about the Soviet audience has revealed. Major efforts to examine audience opinion have been undertaken in the Soviet Union. To a considerable extent these efforts are a response to the perception, on the part of media officials, that foreign communications sources have made inroads into the communications system and have created, especially in this time of increased bipolar world tension, alternative channels of information. As the officials recognize, the internal media system has changed substantially, and new patterns of communications consumption have emerged. But as a result of the findings of audience surveys, basic elements of the political doctrine concerning communications have been undermined.