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Georgia’s Maestro TV suspends broadcasts -
Georgia’s Maestro TV suspends broadcasts
December 24th, 2010 - 12:08 UTC
by Andy Sennitt.
Maestro TV, mainly available for viewers in the Georgian capital Tbilisi, suspended broadcasting yesterday, citing unspecified “technical problems”. Maestro TV, known together with another small Tbilisi-based station Kavkasia TV for reporting critically on the government, suspended its programming, mainly involving news and talk shows as well as weekly investigative reports, at 7am local time on 23 December.
Director of the TV station, Kakha Bekauri, told the Georgian daily Rezonansi that “technical problem”, which he did not elaborate on, was the reason behind suspending broadcasting. However, he acknowledged that “technical problem” was related to financial difficulties. He could not provide any specific date when the TV station would be able to resume its regular programming.
The suspension of broadcasting triggered speculation in the media that it was related purely to financial problems of the station, presumably originating from withdrawal from the management of Erosi Kitsmarishvili, a former co-owner of Rustavi 2 TV and a co-founder of the opposition Georgian Party.
A company, founded by Mr Kitsmarishvili, took over Maestro TV’s management for three years in November, 2009. In March, 2010 Mr Kitsmarishvili appointed Kakha Bekauri as Maestro TV’s new director in charge of day-to-day management of the TV station. Mr Kitsmarishvili has said a number of times since then that after this appointment he had nothing more do with Maestro TV. Mr Bekauri said on 23 December that Mr Kitsmarishvili has not been involved in Maestro TV’s affairs for months already, and the suspension of broadcast was not related in any way with Mr Kitsmarishvili.
In May, 2010, when Maestro TV re-launched broadcast with new studios and new programming, it was also available on satellite, but a few months later the station had to drop satellite broadcasting, citing financial problems.