Tbilisi-base Maestro TV relaunched broadcast on May 27 with new studios and new programming, involving news bulletins and several daily political talk shows.
Maestro TV, which earlier this year moved from its previous office into larger one, with its new look is now also available throughout the country for holders of satellite dishes.
The TV station, which so far was mainly available on cable for viewers in Tbilisi, received satellite broadcasting license from Georgian National Communications Commission (GNCC) in July, 2009. It, however, up to now failed to launch broadcast through satellite, citing financial difficulties.
In November, 2009 owners of Maestro TV handed over management rights to Erosi Kitsmarishvili, a co-founder and former co-owner of Rustavi 2 TV, who was Georgia's ambassador to Russia for less than six months in 2008. Kitsmarishvili, a long-time political insider, broke ranks with his former ally President Saakashvili after the August war, accusing the latter of reckless policy.
In one of its new political talk shows on May 27, Maestro TV interviewed ex-defense minister, Irakli Okruashvili, through video link-up from Paris, where he is since November, 2007 and where he received political asylum. He was sentenced to 11-year prison term in Georgia in absentia in March, 2008.
During the interview Okruashvili, apart of criticizing President Saakashvili, also slammed the opposition for "not having a plan". He, however, also said that among those parties and coalitions, which are running in the May 30 local elections, the National Council and in particular ex-PM Zurab Nogaideli "view the situation most pragmatically".