Media Profiles

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Maestro

Maestro TV was created on the basis of Studio Maestro in 1995. Initially, both the studio and the channel produced only entertainment programs, which were aired by Channel 1 and Channel 2 of public television and later by Pirveli Stereo and Evrika TV channels. In 2008, Maestro’s broadcasting license was modified; the company began to air political programs and its broadcast range was expanded.

The channel expanded its broadcasting after some election watchdog and legal advocacy groups launched a campaign This Affects You Too ahead of the 2012 parliamentary elections. The campaign demanding the introduction of ‘must-carry/must-offer’ rules, which obligated cable operators to carry TV channels without selectively removing any of news channels, ended with making relevant legislative amendments.

The dispute on financial and ownership issues erupted between Maestro’s co-founders and its management in 2015 and further developed in 2016.

As of February 2, 2016, distribution of shares among Maestro TV’s partners looked as follows: Giorgi Gachechiladze – 55%; Mamuka Glonti – 15%; Ekaterine Akobia – 5% and Maka Asatiani – 25%.

Configuration of shares has been modified after the change was registered at the public registry on February 2, 2016 and it was unveiled that Giorgi Gachechiladze became a majority shareholder (55%), who agreed with two co-owners – Giorgi Ebralidze and Levan Chikvaidze, to buy their shares, 15% from each. The remaining shares are still owned by Mamuka Glonti (45%), Maka Asatiani (25%) and Ekaterine Akobia (5%).

The partners meeting held on February 4, 2016 dismissed Baia Gadabadze, the director of the TV channel, from her position and appointed Levan Gachechiladze, brother of Giorgi Gachechiladze, as new director. However, the public registry did not register the change due to the process of appealing against the decision in court.

According to TVMR, Maestro TV is ranked 3rd in TV ratings; according to the Georgian National Communications Commission (GNCC), the TV channel comes third on advertising market after Rustavi 2 and Imedi with a share of 6.1%.  

April 27, 2016 - Present - Mamuka Ghlonti 15%, Ekaterine Akobia 5%, Giorgi Gachechiladze 55%, Media Finance Group LTD  B.V, Netherlands 25%

March 7, 2016 - Mamuka Ghlonti 15%, Ekaterine Akobia 5%, Giorgi Gachechiladze 55%, Maka Asatiani 25%  (Levan Gachechiladze- director) 

February 1, 2016  - Mamuka Ghlonti 15%, Ekaterine Akobia 5%, Giorgi Gachechiladze 55%, Maka Asatiani 25% 

April 29, 2011 - Mamuka Ghlonti 15%, Giorgi Ebralidze 15%, Levan Chikvaidze 15%, Ekaterine Akobia 5%, Giorgi Gachechiladze 25%, Maka Asatiani 25%

April 6, 2011 - Mamuka Ghlonti 15%, Giorgi Ebralidze 15%,  Levan Chikvaidze 15%, Ekaterine Akobia 5%, Giorgi Gachechiladze 50%

2002-2010 Years - Mamuka Ghlonti 38%, Giorgi Ebralidze 38%, Levan Chikvaidze 19%, Ekaterine Akobia 5%

 

 

YearTotal commercial income GNCC dataPublic Funds 
2017 56 092 GEL 
20165 487 945 GEL141 972 GEL
20155 123 105 GEL 566 493 GEL

 

On May 20, 2014 the Government of Georgia released a statement, involving a biased assessment of a weekly program aired by Maestro TV on May 18 and hosted by journalist Vakho Sanaia.

Statement of the GOG: “In the course of the program, the journalist tried to portray a picture as if not a single promise of the authorities has been fulfilled. In an attempt to support this lie, he resorted to interviewing people in the streets and selected those responses, which would have reinforced the main line of the entire program".

On September 28, 2014 Vakho Sanaia quit Maestro TV citing his conversation with the management as the reason behind his decision. Sanaia claimed that Maestro TV’s director told him that his “programs may lead to Maestro TV’s confrontation with the authorities and create problems.” Director of the TV channel, Baia Gadabadze cited controversy as the reason behind Sanaia’s quitting the TV channel.

On December 22, 2014, Nino Zhizhilashvili, deputy director of Maestro TV and anchor of TV station’s flagship news program at 9pm, as well as a group of journalists from the TV channel’s newsroom quit Maestro TV. Zhizhilashvili cited her disagreement over editorial issues with the husband of co-owner of the channel, Koke Gogelia as the reason behind her quitting. In particular, the question was about Gogelia’s vision, who wanted Maestro to be ideologically driven and “pro-Georgian,” as well as about meddling of Koka Kandiashvili, who was communications consultant for the government, in the channel’s editorial issues and the decision to scrap her program. Maestro’s management rejected these allegations and announced reorganization. Labor rights of 14 employees dismissed from Maestro TV are protected by Transparency International Georgia.

In early 2016, Maestro TV suspended cooperation with Studio Monitor, whose investigative programs were aired by the channel for seven years.