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PBD director denies closure of some programs

By Tea Mariamidze
Tuesday, February 7
The Georgian Public Broadcaster's (GPB) new Director General, Vasil Maghlaperidze, denied the spread information that the TV program ‘Real Space’ and some other TV shows are going to be canceled.

The information about the stopping of TV programs was disseminated by the Media Advocacy Coalition on February 3, saying the management of GPB made the decision to close ‘Real Space’ Program, hosted and authored by Nino Zautashvili.

The coalition also spoke about the possible closure of other programs and mass dismissal of employees.

The GPB's Director General says that no decision over the program's cancellation has been made yet.

On Monday, Maghlaperidze presented a development action plan for 2017-2019, aimed to overcome the existing crises in GPB.

“We are not going to close any programs or to dismiss anyone from the broadcaster. We do not have such authority. I call on everyone to stop speculating over this issue,” he said at a press-conference.

However, the Director General said that the GPB's funds had been spent inefficiently, which led to its current financial crisis.

Maghlaperidze believes that all TV shows and programs, except news, should be temporarily suspended, in order to overcome financial difficulties.

“The reality is that we have a financial crisis, miserable working conditions and a damaged building, which is very insecure and cannot be rehabilitated,” said Maghlaperidze.

He says that if society approves of his plan, necessary changes and reorganization will be carried out in the GPB in order to ensure proper functioning of the TV channel.

“By optimizing 2017's finances, we will save 15 million Gel. However, the final decision is up to the public,” he added.

The GPB will get 46.4 million Gel from the state budget this year, which is 2.4 million less compared to 2016 and 5 million more than the funding of 2015.