Head of News at Georgian Public Broadcaster resigns

19 July 2017
(RFE/RL)

Giorgi Putkaradze, the head of news at the Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB) resigned on 18 July months after a controversial shift in the channel’s administration.

‘Today, I am saying goodbye to this team. Good luck to them! It is time for new challenges in my life’, Putkaradze wrote on his private Facebook profile, stressing that it was a difficult decision for him.

‘Many interesting, difficult and challenging working days connect me to this channel and my old and new colleagues’, he added, claiming that his resignation was a personal decision.

Ia Antadze, the Head of GPB’s strategic service, told Netgazeti on 19 July that according to a ‘new concept of horizontal governance, news will be managed by a superdesk’ and the position of a news director will be abolished.

The superdesk, a group of six GPB editors and news division heads, will discuss ‘every story’, which appears on the news, ‘in detail’, according to Antadze.

Putkaradze was to continue working for GPB as a multimedia editor, but now Irakli Absandze, former Imedi TV producer and Liberali newspaper editor will take over the post, Antadze added.

Putkaradze, who worked at GPB as a reporter from 2013 to 2015 and at various media outlets including Rezonansi, media.ge and the Metskhre Arkhi channel beforehand, had been working as a news head at GPB’s first channel (Pirveli Arkhi) since January 2016. GPB also operates a second channel, Meore Arkhi, a public radio station, and website.

Changes in GPB

The decision comes after a change in management at GPB provoked criticism from media rights organisations, who claim that the new director of GPB Vasil Maglaperidze, who was appointed in December 2016, ‘is not politically neutral’, as in 2012 he served as deputy director of a TV channel belonging to former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili.

The new administration recently ceased broadcasting two joint TV programmes with Radio Free Europe/Radio LibertyTsiteli Zona (Red Zone) and InterVIEW attracting public outrage.

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