Nika Gvaramia, Director General of the broadcasting company Rustavi 2 completely refutes recent media reports quasi Rustavi 2 owners are going to alienate the broadcaster.
According to some unverified reports a Russian giant media holding Gazprom-Media is going to purchase the Georgian leading TV channel.
“Authorized by the owners I am to state that the reports are not true, including the comical nonsense on the procurement of Rustavi 2 by Gazprom,” Nika Gvaramia posted on his official Facebook page.
Director General thereby added that the circulation of misinformation is managed by some interested group of people targeting to harm the TV channel and represent it as an instable media outlet, in the course of very aggressive process of distribution of advertising market.
“Due to a very weird time coincidence we believe a legally senseless requirement on the seizure of the Rustavi 2 shares much spoken about in the past few days is a part of the aforementioned campaign,” says Nika Gvaramia and calls on “everyone – both intentionally participating in the process (some of them being the members of the supervisory board of the competitor TV channel and having direct financial interest) and those unintentionally partaking in the campaign to refrain from the aforementioned insinuations that our TV company considers as a fight against its financial independence and independent media in general.”
As of today according public registry data 51 percent of TV shares are held by TV company Saqartvelo, 18 percent by Giorgi Karamanishvili 22 percent by Levan Karamanishvili, 9 percent by former TV Director Giorgi Gegeshidze.
On the Georgian advertising market, whose total capacity according to different data is approximately USD 40 mln, Rustavi 2 together with TV company Imedi is the pioneer, and 70 percent of TV ads are placed on these two TV companies.
On July 30 the Rustavi 2 founders Davit Dvali and Jarji Akimidze, trying to get the TV company back, demonstrated their concern about the possible alienation of the broadcaster. The Prosecutor’s Office, based on their application, is conducting investigation into the alienation of the TV company eight year ago. Until the completion of the investigation the co-founders call for the seizure of the TV company shares.
At the same time reporting to Media.Ge on July 30 Nino Zuriashvili of the Media Advocacy Coalition said the organization is demonstrating support to the TV co-founders’ demand. Over Rustavi 2 case Media Advocacy Coalition is going to meet with the Chief Prosecutor Archil Kbilashvili in the forthcoming week.