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Journalists Quit Rustavi 2 TV

The team of “Kurieri”, the main news program of Rustavi 2 TV, has quit the channel in protest of the recent staff changes announced by the new Director General Paata Salia.

On Tuesday, Salia announced the dismissal of the head of TV’s News Department Nodar Meladze, news producer Giorgi Laperashvili, hosts of political talk shows Eka Kvesitadze and Giorgi Gabunia as well as Nanuka Zhorzholiani, the host of entertaining program due to “conflict of interests.”

No news program has been aired on the channel since 6pm of August 20. Instead in 9pm “Kurieri” the anchors Diana Jojua and Mikheil Sesiashvili announced that they also quit, without broadcasting any other news.

Leaving the office yesterday evening the news team said they could no more work on the channel, “occupied” by the ruling Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia party chairman Bidzina Ivanishvili. They however noted that the new director general had offered them to stay and continue their jobs, but they refused to work for “a state-managed” TV.

No official statements have been made from the new management of Rustavi 2 so far. Paata Salia has reportedly postponed news briefingს for several times yesterday. Based on media reports, he will brief about the future fate of Rustavi 2 later today.

Meanwhile, the channel’s former Director General Nika Gvaramia, who has registered the “Main Channel” as his new television, offered his former team members to join.

Businessman Kibar Khalvashi, who regained ownership of Rustavi 2 on July 18 following the European Court of Human Rights verdict, immediately replaced Nika Gvaramia by his lawyer, Paata Salia as the new director general. Gvaramia was soon charged over abuse of power and has to post a GEL 40,000 bail, which he has been refusing so far.

For more background, follow our tag on Rustavi 2.

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


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