TBILISI, DFWatch — A TV company affiliated with the governing Georgian Dream coalition is going to become a general broadcaster.
Thursday morning it became known that TV 9 will become a general broadcaster, which means that it will have the right to broadcast entertainment shows in addition to its current news programs.
The company’s director Kakha Bekauri has quit and his deputy Luba Eliashvili has taken over. She said that she wants to study the structure of the channel, its finances, management, and then make a final decision about the new direction of the channel, but it is already known that TV9 will be a general broadcaster, with movies, shows, etc.
General Director Kakha Bekauri on Thursday announced that he is leaving because of the planned reorganization of the company.
“It should be transformed – legal status, form, structure should change. Yesterday I said I was director of TV9. Today I write statement on vacation, but I leave. I won’t be chair of the channel after my vacation. I will use my vacation to support the reorganization process,” he said live on TV 9 adding that Luba Eliashvili will fulfill his duties.
A day before, the media reported that he might leave, but neither he nor his deputy have confirmed this until Thursday.
The same evening, employees of TV9 read a special statement in the 21:00 news program saying that they do not yet know how the current events at the channel will end, what its supervisory board will be like and who will own the channel.
Employees state that they plan not to leave the channel yet; considering the recent statement by the prime minister that the channel soon won’t be the property of his family and that editorial independence will be retained.
“We want to publicly state that for all these eight months there has never been any attempt to intervene in our editorial policy. That’s why we hope no-one will create this threat in the future.”
Employees say they might make individual decisions in this process, but are ready to meet with the management of TV9 and explain their position.
Another unexpected action was the resignation of Vasil Maglapheridze, Deputy Director and host of one of the programs on the channel. He said he has learned about current events from media.
“They didn’t consider it necessary to inform me about current events, which means I was not necessary. I’m not just an employee. I used to be deputy director and I learn from live broadcasting that the director has resigned.”