Kibar Khalvashi, owner of the Rustavi 2 television station, will make a final decision in two days on whether or not to dismiss the station's Director-General Nika Tabatadze, Rustavi 2 TV reported on its news program Courier in the evening of August 26.
On August 26 the Courier news program was not aired at its regularly scheduled times of midday and 3 pm as journalists protested against the TV owner’s decision to sack Tabatadze.
“Talks are currently underway [with the TV owner], and hence Courier will continue its regular programming. Meanwhile, the Rustavi 2 TV Director-General will retain his position. The owner should make a decision in two days,” the Rustavi 2’s news program at 6 p.m. said in a brief announced.
Rustavi 2 TV is owned by businessman Kibar Khalvashi, who is described by the Georgian media as a close friend of Defense Minister Irakli Okruashili. Rustavi 2 TV is accused by opponents of being government-controlled.
The Georgian daily Rezonansi reported on August 26 that speculations have recently emerged about the anticipated change of management in the television station.
“It is also speculated that Chief of the President’s Administration Giorgi Arveladze has insisted on Tabatadze’s dismissal,” Rezonansi said, adding that a reason for confrontation between Tabatadze and Arveladze remains unknown.