An anchor of Rustavi 2 TV station’s weekly political talk show, Position, Nino Shubladze, said during the program on April 3, that she did not think it was necessary to know all the shareholders of the TV station.
Rustavi 2 TV’s ownership question, which remains unclear, is a source of speculations. While its two shareholders are known, nothing is publicly known about the third shareholder, a mysterious GeoMedia Group, which is registered in the Marshall Islands and whose shares of Rustavi 2 TV declined from 55% to 40% in November.
The ownership issue was raised during the talk show, when one of its guests, Davit Usupashvili, the leader of Republican Party – part of opposition Alliance for Georgia, asked the anchor if she knew who the owners of the television station were.
“Irakli Chikovani, the director general of Rustavi 2,” the anchor responded. Chikovani became 30% shareholder of the TV station in November, 2008. “Who else are the shareholders,” Usupashvili pressed and the anchor responded: “I do not think I should necessarily know all the shareholders.”
Usupashvili turned to the anchor and asked these questions when debating with another guest of the talk show, parliamentary vice-speaker Mikheil Machavariani from the ruling party, about the issues related with the need of having meaningful dialogue between the opposition and the ruling party.
According to the notification sent to the Georgian National Communications Commission (GNCC) in November, 2008, Georgian Industrial Group (GIG) remains a third shareholder of Rustavi 2 TV, whose shares have declined from 45% to 30% in November.