About Civil.ge
Eng | Geo | Rus
Last updated: 00:33 - 10 Oct.'15
PM Speaks of his TV Channel and Public TV
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 23 Nov.'12 / 02:48

PM Bidzina Ivanishvili said on November 22 that he would "donate" his television station, Channel 9, to the Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB) if and when the latter turns into “a genuinely public broadcaster” or would establish “a truly public television” on the basis of the Channel 9.
Tbilisi-based Channel 9, which was launched in April 2012, is funded by Georgia's billionaire Prime Minister and co-owned by his wife Ekaterine Khvedelidze.
Speaking at a news conference on November 22, Ivanishvili said that as a prime minister he felt “uncomfortable” with the fact that his wife was a co-owner of the news TV channel. "I will remove this inconvenience very soon," he said.

He said he was considering two possible options; "if possible in the nearest future and it should be made possible" to turn GPB into "genuinely public broadcaster" he would hand over the entire property of Channel 9, involving equipment, studios and offices to GPB "free of charge". He also added that "it will be good" if journalists now working for Channel 9 would also become part of GPB in case of merger.

"If it does not or cannot take place... then I do not rule out to make genuinely pubic television based on Channel 9," Ivanishvili said.

He said that he would donate in advance as much money to this television channel as it would require for operation in next twenty years.

"It will be financially cut from me and it won't depend on me; it won't have any ties to my family," PM Ivanishvili said.

He said that GPB was far from being a public television. "It only has such name, but in fact it has served and still serves one particular group," he said, referring to President Saakashvili's United National Movement (UNM) party.

When earlier this month the Finance Ministry's revenue service launched a tax probe into GPB, which has GEL 3.8 million debt in unpaid taxes, UNM said it was an attempt to mount pressure on the public broadcaster; UNM also said at the time that Ivanishvili was planning to merge GPB with his Channel 9.

Tax probe into the public broadcaster "is a normal process", which has not resulted into restriction of journalists' work and "it won't happen in the future either," Ivanishvili said on November 22.

At the same news conference Ivanishvili welcomed that some of the previous owners of the Rustavi 2 TV were willing to reclaim this television station.

Rustavi 2 TV, which is now run by a former government member, has changed hands for multiple times since the 2003 Rose Revolution; changes in its ownership structure was mainly related to political developments in the country. Some of the previous owners of Rustavi 2 TV, including several of its original founders - Davit Dvali and Jarji Akimidze, have signaled that they would launch litigation with a purpose to reclaim ownership of the channel.

Ivanishvili said on November 22 that from his point of view these two were "real owners" of Rustavi 2 TV. Current owners of the television station said in a statement that PM's remarks amounted to open "encouragement of the TV company's former owners to launch groundless litigation against lawful owners of the company."

Latest News
10 Oct.'15 00:33
Energy Ministry Says Georgia Open to Gas Supply Talks with Gazprom
Energy Minister Kaladze says it is part of diversifying energy supplies.
09 Oct.'15 22:46
Georgian Deputy FM: MAP Not Expected at NATO Warsaw Summit
Dondua gave a straightforward assessment of the issue at a meeting with opposition MPs from FD party.
09 Oct.'15 09:53
U.S. ‘Expresses Concerns to Georgian Govt’ Over Rustavi 2 TV Case
U.S. diplomat meets Rustavi 2 TV head to learn about court case “affecting the station’s financial health.”
08 Oct.'15 21:09
NATO, Georgian Defense Ministers Meet in Brussels
“We need to see more progress in key areas of reform, especially in the rule of law,” Stoltenberg said.
08 Oct.'15 19:01
Georgian Foreign Minister Meets EU Officials in Brussels
EU foreign policy chief said Georgia making “rapid progress towards visa liberalisation.”
08 Oct.'15 16:50
ICC Prosecutor Seeks Investigation into August 2008 War
The move comes after more than 7 years of “preliminary examination” of the case.
08 Oct.'15 15:24
Public Defender Says Pretrial Detention of Opposition Activists ‘Unjustified’
He said the case also triggers “suspicions over selective application of justice.”
08 Oct.'15 13:30
Heavy Rains Flood Kobuleti in Adjara Region
Heavy rainfall caused flash flooding in a number of municipalities in the Adjara region.
08 Oct.'15 12:30
Georgian FM, Defense Minister Meet NATO Secretary General
“NATO remains high on the Georgian government’s agenda,” Foreign Minister Kvirikashvili said.
07 Oct.'15 12:09
Georgian FM, Defense Minister Visit Brussels
Georgian ministers will meet NATO, EU officials in Brussels.

About Civil Georgia
Civil.Ge © 2001-2015, Daily News Online
Registered office: 2 Dolidze Str, 4-th Floor.