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New Director for Georgia’s Public Broadcaster

By Tea Mariamidze
Monday, January 9
Vasil Maghlaperidze became the General Director of Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB) through the second round of secret balloting held by GPB Board of Trustees.

Maghlaperidze received six votes of the eight-member Board. He will serve as the Director General during the following six years.

Five candidates took part in the voting: Zaal Anjaparidze, Vasil Maghlaperidze, Nino Zautashvili, Tinatin Berdzenishvili and Natia Kuprashvili.

The first round of voting did not reveal the winner. Maghlaperidze and Berdzenishvili participated in the second round of balloting.

Initially, fifteen people expressed willingness to occupy the post. Members of GPB’s Board of Trustees chose the candidates among the 14 persons who applied for the post. One candidate, Bachuki Bakhtadze, was excluded after a review of his documentation by the Board.

The Board of Trustees of the GPB announced an open competition for the vacant position on November 28, after the former Director General, Giorgi Baratashvili, officially left his post, ahead of the October 8 parliamentary elections.

Maghlaperidze says he will start a total reorganization of the channel in order to transform the GPB into a leading broadcaster in the country.

It was believed that Maghlaperidze was the most favorable candidate for the government, as he is a former producer of the program 2030 of GDS TV, which is owned by the founder of ruling party Georgian Dream, ex-Prime Minister of Georgia, tycoon Bidzina Ivanishvili.

However, Maghlaperidze said he was politically impartial and would do his best to change the GPB to the better.

“I am not going to have any dispute with the skeptics, they have right to express their opinion. My successful activities at the GPB will be my answer to them,” the new Director of the GPB stated.

Another participant of the second round, Tinatin Berdzenishvili, wished every success to Maghlaperidze and expressed hope that the GPB would stay impartial and independent as it was before.

“The decision of the Board members is their responsibility. I hope that GPB Editorial Policy will stay impartial and independent,” she noted.

Media expertLashaTugushi says the decision of the GPB Board of Trustees was shameful.

“This is the worst decision the Board could make. Their decision ended development of the GPB. We, the society are paying 40 million Gel to the broadcaster for such incompetent decisions. This is unfair,” the expert stressed.