Rustavi 2 Has New Head of News Department

Journalist Irakli Imnaishvili has been appointed as the new Head of the Rustavi 2 News Department. He will also serve as the Executive Director of the TV Company. 

Paata Salia, the Director-General of the TV Channel, announced the decision at a briefing today.

“The doors of Rustavi 2 are open to everyone, for professionals who have worked here for years and who really want this channel to be an independent, impartial and critical channel. We would like to inform the public about positive news, a fact which was very well received by the Rustavi 2 team, by the people who are loyal to this channel, which currently is made up of a team of around 800.

“Today, I introduced these people to a professional who does not need a special presentation, he is one of the first journalists who is remembered by the members of the Georgian society due to his criticism and resilience, who had to leave the country due to the pressure of previous government officials. This professional is Irakli Imnaishvili, who has worked for a long time in the UK, on BBC TV.

“We had long conversations and negotiations with Irakli to have him as Head of the News Department and of the production direction and for him to serve as the Executive Director of the TV Channel.

“The negotiations with Irakli are in the final stages, and we hope that he will soon become a member of our team. His arrival has given people a big hope, and along with him, we are ready to recreate, revitalize, and strengthen a company that has endured many crises during its existence.

“We think that in this case, our TV company will overcome this situation and will return even stronger. It will still be the number one channel in Georgia,” Salia said.

The situation has been tense around the Rustavi 2 TV Bboadcaster in the last few months. Paata Salia, the new Director-General, fired the Head of TV’s News Department, Nodar Meladze, and TV anchors: Giorgi Gabunia, Eka Kvesitadze, Nanuka Zhorzholiani as well as news producer Giorgi Laperashvili. As a  response, leading journalists of Rustavi 2 left their workplaces in protest. 

Salia said that they were “in conflict with the interests” of the new owner and that they were openly negotiating with the former Director-General of Rustavi 2, Nika Gvaramia, who has just established a new TV broadcaster – “Main Channel”.

Diana Jojua, the host of Rustavi-2’s main news program, “Kurieri”, announced on air she was resigning from the channel in protest. Her co-host, Mikheil Sesiashvili, also resigned.

Later, almost the entire team of “Kurieri”: Tamar Baghashvili, Mariam Gaphrindashvili, Davit Kashiashvili, Natia Gogsadze, Nino Samkurashvili, Nino Gazdeiani, and others left Rustavi 2 in protest.

Related Story: Kibar Khalvashi: Rustavi 2 Journalists Made Emotional Decision

By Ana Dumbadze 

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