TV company Imedi, having reported on the switch-over to a news format, is closing down cognitive-entertainment shows forte expected financial crisis.
Viewers will no longer have a possibility to watch the independent studio Night Show-produced programs and TV series including Night Show, Men’s Show, Suburban Girl, Stop When You Cross.
“I met with the Imedi TV management. I have been told that for the expected financial crisis only political talk shows and programs will be produced,” Davit Gogichaishvili, Producer, independent studio Night Show told Media.ge.
The Night Show studio has been co-operating with Imedi since 2007. Up to 100 people were employed in the framework of the project.
The advertising income produced in the frames of TV projects, says Davit Gogichaishvili, was distributed by Imedi management in a centralized manner.
Cognitive-entertainment program Today’s Show either will be any longer available on Imedi. Reporting to Media.ge Naniko Khazaradze, co-hostess of the show said the reason of the closure of the program is the likely financial crisis.
“Good bye Today‘s Show. Thank you everyone, everyone, everyone for being with us. We’ll be missing you. Good luck, Naniko, Dodoshka and me, we all love you,” Ia Parulava, another co-hostess of the show posted on the Facebook page for Dgis Show.
Nanuka Zhorzholiani too released a statement over the closure of the program. Posting on Facebook Nanuka Zhorzholiani, the author of the costly Nanuka’s Show said. Only few more programs produced in advance, she said, will be aired.
Georgian Media Production Group is the 100 percent shareholder of Imedi TV LLC.
45 percent of Georgian Media Production Group is owned by Giorgi Arveladze, the person affiliated with President Saakashvili, former Minister of Economic Development of Georgia and ex head of the presidential administration; Giorgi Korakhashvili and Giorgi Mikeladze are 30 and 15 percent shareholders respectively. The remaining 10 percent is owned by the US citizen Joseph Kay, a relative of late business tycoon Badri Patarkatsishvili, the founder of TV company Imedi. Joseph Kay, following Badri Patarkatsishvili’s death in February 2008, in his mansion in London, took management over his assets including Imedi TV based on the documents whose legality was questioned by Patarkatsishvili’s family, alleging the papers are forged.
Patarkatsishvili’s family lost the court dispute vs Kay. The latter, Patarkatsishvili’s family alleged, was enjoying government’s support to ultimately get the TV company in its hands. The dispute was furthered at New York, Gibraltar and London courts. About a year ago Patarkatsishvili’s family said that dispute ended up with a conciliation. The businessman’s family ultimately gave up on Imedi TV but got the rest of the assets back in Georgia including Rustavi Metallurgical Plant and Mtatsminda Park.
During civil commotion in autumn 2007 TV Imedi whose owner business tycoon was opposing the authorities was raided by riot police. Following the resumption of TV air the TV shares were repeatedly re-distributed. Finally they were found in Giorgi Arveladze’s hands.
On October 6, following the defeat of the ruling United National Movement (UNM) in the parliamentary elections the TV company released a statementto express hope that the new government will continue its democratic heritage left by the previous government, it will not interfere with the free operation of any form of media, and will not try to restrict freedom of speech.
The surveys carries out in the pre-election period media monitors stressed Imedi TV’s bias to the authorities and the ruling UNM party.