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Contest for GPB’s General Director’s Post is open

By Keti Arjevanidze
Monday, December 17
Gia Chanturia resigned from the post of General Director of Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB), on December 14th.

Chanturia said he could not fulfil the plans he aimed for three years ago when he became GPB’s director. GPB’s former General Director denied resigning due to the existing financial conditions in TV Company or due to any political pressure.

However, Chanturia said he left a “realistic budget” which guarantees the faultless work of the broadcaster and is approved by the Board of Trustees.

Chanturia addressed Nodar Khaduri, the Minister of Finance to decide properly whether to restructure the debts of GPB or not. According to Chanturia, the debt’s restructure is inevitable for the broadcaster’s normal functioning, while Khaduri responded that the final decision will be taken after the commission discusses the issue.

“We are ready to discuss all the forms established by law, so that the GPB can function efficiently,” Khaduri said, stressing that the ministry is ready to provide proper working conditions to the GPB.

A financial audit was started at GPB in November, in order to examine the reasons behind the GPB’s accumulated debts– around GEL 3.8 million, for unpaid taxes.

Member of GPB’s Board of Trustees– Emzar Goguadze, said the budget that Chanturia left is not ideal, but admitted that a better result was not expected due to the existing situation at the TV station.

Opinions around Chanturia’s resignation differ. Head of the Board, Levan Gakheladze, thinks that non-performance of this strategic plan caused the crisis in GPB's management.

Lasha Tughushi, editor of Rezonansi newspaper thinks that it could not be the reason for Chanturia’s withdrawal and some other reason may exist. According to journalist and media analyst Ia Antadze, Chanturia’s decision is independent and free from appeals by some political sides.

Journalist Shalva Ramishvili thinks that the main problem is the board and the situation will not recover until the board is changed. “Also the changes in law about broadcasting are inevitable, otherwise normal, operative space for working will not exist at the TV company,” said Ramishvili.

Shalva Ramishvili is one of the candidates for the position of General Director of GPB (suggested by the public). However, Ramishvili said he does not even want to participate in the contest.

Analyst Mamuka Areshidze is among the candidates who do not see a problem in communicating with the board.

According to the analyst there are a lot of questions Chanturia must address, although he added that Chanturia did create several good programs for GPB as well.

The post for the General Director is vacant. The Board of trustees declared an open contest. The conditions for competition will be available at the official webpage of GPB.

Giorgi Baratashvili, the former head of GPB’s technical department will be the acting head before the new director is elected.

Lawyer and main specialist of the Sports and Youth Department of Adjara, Nikoloz Megrelishvili, 26, was the first person to apply for the position at this stage.

According to Board members, applications for the General Director vacancy will be accepted until 20th of December, 18:00 P.M.