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Media Holding Imedi plans

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, December 29
Media Holding Imedi released a statement on Tuesday saying that negotiations with Maestro TV have successfully ended and the company will become a part of Imedi Holding. As for GDS, negotiations are still underway but will apparently end soon.

“After dealing with all the legal and financial procedures, Imedi will offer its viewers renewed TV channels, which will be equipped with modern technology and answer to the demands of the large spectrum of auditorium. We believe that the united team of experienced professionals and renewed management will have solid input to the development of the media environment in Georgia,” the statement of the Imedi Holding reads.

In early 2016, Giorgi Gachechiladze, a singer and a TV personality, became a 55% shareholder of Maestro TV. Another 25% of the shares are owned by Maka Asatiani, while Mamuka Glonti, one of the founders of Maestro TV, owns 15%, with a further 5% being owned by Eka Akobia.

GDS, a Tbilisi-based television channel, is owned by ex-PM Bidzina Ivanishvili’s son Bera. The station was established in late 2012 as an entertainment channel, but in 2015 the station added political programms.

Imedi has already purchased all commercial time on GDS and on Maestro, which means that these companies already have common commercial interests.

Moreover, some media outlets say that these three TV companies carried out similar exit polls during the 2016 Parliamentary Elections, which would point to their being affiliated with Georgian Dream and its founder, Bidzina Ivanishvili.

Mamuka Glonti, one of Maestro’s shareholders, stated that Bidzina Ivanishvili could be behind the entire process.

“I would say that it was GDS purchasing Imedi TV and Maestro TV. I see the official authorities and Bidzina Ivanishvili behind it,” Glonti noted.

Journalist Inga Grigolia, who was the first who announced that such changes would take place in Georgian media, believes that the government is inquisitive in the process in order to get rid of undesirable TV companies.

She said this process started when her TV show, Reaction, was closed down on Imedi TV last year.

“The decision was made and these three broadcasters will be in one hand soon. This is the ruling force in action and all these three channels will become pro-governmental,” stated Grigolia.

These recent developments might be unprofitable for Georgia and the country’s image, as democracy is directly linked with a free and impartial media environment in any country which claims its democratic priorities.