About Civil.ge
Eng | Geo | Rus
Last updated: 17:32 - 29 Jan.'15
 
RSS
Mobile
Twitter
Facebook
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
29 Jan.'15 17:32
NATO Deputy Secretary General Holds Talks in Tbilisi
Georgia and NATO are committed to have joint training and evaluation center later this year, Vershbow said.
29 Jan.'15 03:27
From TV Series to ‘Researching’ Civil Society Activists, Ivanishvili Speaks on Plans
Early elections neither necessary nor desirable, but “we should not rule out anything,” ex-PM said.
28 Jan.'15 21:47
President Seeks Applicants for Supreme Court Chair Candidate
He called on “professional circles” to name their favorable candidates before February 9.
28 Jan.'15 19:12
Ex-Warlord Released from Jail in Plea Deal
Kvitsiani and his armed group were in charge of Kodori gorge before being ousted by govt forces in ‘06.
28 Jan.'15 14:56
NATO Deputy Secretary General to Visit Georgia
Vershbow will meet Georgian leadership, as well as head of the Georgian Orthodox Church.
27 Jan.'15 21:28
PM, Govt Economic Team, Central Bank Chief Meet as GEL Continues to Fall
GEL depreciated further against U.S. dollar, falling to its lowest level in almost 11 years.
27 Jan.'15 13:45
Georgia to Host 2017 UEFA European U19 Championship
The final tournament will be played at stadiums in Tbilisi, Rustavi, Gori and Mtskheta.
27 Jan.'15 12:58
Police Say Over 6kg Cocaine Seized
Three Bulgarian citizens arrested for allegedly trying to smuggle drugs into Georgia from Armenia.
26 Jan.'15 19:59
Human Rights, Media Groups Slam Bill Criminalizing ‘Strife-Inciting Calls’
The bill is fraught with “risk of unreasonably restricting freedom of expression,” dozens of groups say.
26 Jan.'15 16:54
President Meets Outgoing Supreme Court Chair, Justice Council Members
The meeting was part of President’s ongoing consultations for new Supreme Court chair.

About Civil Georgia
Civil.Ge © 2001-2013, Daily News Online
Registered office: 2 Dolidze Str, 4-th Floor.
59