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Imedi TV to Resume Broadcasts in a Few Days

Only Imedi’s logo appears on TV screens.
Imedi TV will resume broadcasting this week with limited news coverage. Normal programming is expected by the end of the week, the television station’s management said.

“We think that limited broadcasts will be resumed either on Tuesday, or at the latest Wednesday,” Giorgi Targamadze, head of Imedi TV’s political programs, said on December 8. “Initially, we won’t have news every hour like we used to have. News bulletins will be aired every three hours.”

Imedi TV performed a 15 minute broadcast test on December 8, during which viewers in certain areas, including Tbilisi, saw music videos. Only the station’s logo appears on TV screens now.

Speaking on a late night talk show – Journalism as a Profession – on Tbilisi-based Maestro TV, Targamadze said that technicians were working “almost round-the-clock” to repair damaged equipment in the Imedi studios. He said there was extensive damage in the main studio’s control unit; the internal phone network and fiber-optic internet connection was totally destroyed.

“The people who did it were professionals, because they targeted the most important equipment to create more problems for us,” Targamadze said.

He also said that the station’s management were actively looking for replacements for some key anchors who quit the station following its closure by the authorities. Inga Grigolia and Eka Khoperia, hosts of the late night political talk show On the Air, quit the station, as did a newscaster and two other journalists.

Khoperia is now hosting a program on Tbilisi-based Ucnobi radio station. Grigolia is due this week to host a political talk show produced by TBC TV studio and aired by Imedi’s main rival, Rustavi 2 TV. Grigolia told Rustavi 2 TV that she had decided to leave Imedi TV after its co-owner, business tycoon Badri Patarkatsishvili, decided to run for the presidency.

Giorgi Targamadze said that Imedi newscaster Magda Anikashvili would be the new host of On the Air.

Meanwhile, Imedi radio station has already resumed broadcasting, including hourly news bulletins. It plans to resume talk shows on Monday.

Imedi radio was, along with the TV station, shut down on November 7 as a result of a police raid. No damage, however, was inflicted on the radio station’s studios. Although there was never any legal obstacle preventing the radio station from broadcasting, it was unable to do so until December 7, as its studios, along with the TV station’s, had been sealed off by police. The radio and TV stations’ websites still remain inaccessible.

Tbilisi City Court ruled on December 6 to unfreeze Imedi’s assets – the last remaining legal obstacle for Imedi TV to get back on air after the Georgian National Communications Commission (GNCC) on December 4 reversed its November 7 decision to suspend Imedi TV’s license for three months.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


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