Maestro TV co-owner said on November 12, that the Tbilisi-based television station’s management rights were handed over to Erosi Kitsmarishvili, former co-owner of Rustavi 2 TV and Georgia’s ex-ambassador to Russia.
Maestro TV, which played an important role behind opposition’s protest rallies earlier this year, goes out on cable in Tbilisi. Its co-owner Mamuka Glonti said according to the agreement the TV station will be managed by Rustavi Media-Management Company, founded by Kitsmarishvili, for next three years.
He also said that the deal in no way meant that shares into the TV station were sold. Glonti said it is currently owned by its ten co-founders, including him, with each holding 10% of shares. Glonti said speculations that ex-parliamentary speaker Nino Burjanadze or other opposition figures bought the TV station were totally groundless.
Kitsmarishvili said that the deal did not mean that Glonti, who has been a key figure behind the station, would be excluded from the management. “He will retain his right of veto on principled issues,” Kitsmarishvili said.
Kitsmarishvili said he offered Glonti this type of cooperation after he had seen video spots on Maestro TV calling on viewers for financial contributions, as well as after speculations started to rife that the station could have been sold. Kitsmarishvili claimed that he wanted to help the station with his extensive TV management experience and marketing skills to ease the company’s financial problems. He said solving of financial problems would be among his key priorities.
On the content-related issues, he said Maestro TV “should take the niche of very objective news provider.”
“The news service will be something that would make Maestro TV different from other stations,” Kitsmarishvili said. “The station will preserve its independence.”