Koba Davarashvili, director-general of the Tbilisi-based Rustavi 2 TV station, has been replaced by Irakli Chikovani, the station reported on October 21.
Chikovani was chief of the Media House advertisement company, which sells commercial air time on Rustavi 2, Mze (Sun) and Pirveli Stereo (First Stereo), all of which are majority owned by lawmaker Davit Bezhuashvili’s Georgian Industrial Group (GIG). Davit Bezhuashvili is a brother of Foreign Minister Gela Bezhuashvili.
Rustavi 2 TV gave no explanation for the replacement of the director-general. There have, however, been rumors of increasing dissatisfaction among journalists about Davarashvili’s management style.
Davarashvili is widewly seen as a close associate of Economy Minister Giorgi Arveladze, and so his dismissal is not expected to mean any major changes in the station’s editorial policy, which has been criticized by opponents as being “pro-government.”