Visit to Netgazeti.ge and to Maestro TV to arrange internships

Maia Metskhvarishvili, editor-in-chief, Netgazeti.ge, warns that we works interns hard. Maia recently was an intern herself at the large, prestigious newspaper The Minneapolis Star-Tribune in the United States. She expects interns to find good story ideas and she expects them to do in-depth reporting. Copyright Keith Kenney, 2012.

 

Khatia Kvatadze and Ilia Kikabidze work for Maestro TV, which is still moving into a building it is renovating. They want interns who have good technical skills, especially the ability to edit video. Copyright Keith Kenney, 2012.

 

Maestro TV has a new newsroom and it is still working on two production studios; copyright Keith Kenney, 2012.

Which is the root of the problem: money or politics?

From civil.ge

The conflict at Maestro TV has continued for more than two weeks. Erosi, the head of Maestro TV’s managing company, continues to occupy the Maestro TV station and he is trying to start broadcasting via satellite. The owners of Maestro, whose spokesman is Mamuka Glonti, are broadcasting in a limited way via Maestro’s radio station. To me it seems clear that the two sides are fighting over control of the TV station, its equipment, and its broadcasts. And it also seems clear that they are fighting over money. Erosi claims he put $4.5 million into the station; the owners claim Erosi stole $.5 million and did not spent $4.5 million. I also believe that the fight occurred when the owners of Maestro struck a financially lucrative deal with billionaire Bidza Ivanishvili without including Erosi.

In addition, the fight is about politics.

I’m sure that Maestro TV is one of the two independent TV stations that transmits news critical of Saakashvili’s party. I’m also sure that Maestro TV has been partially paralyzed and that Saakashvili’s party is secretly very pleased that Maestro cannot, temporarily, broadcast criticisms of its policies.

What I don’t know is whether politics or money started the fight. Is Erosi intentionally damaging the main mouthpiece of the opposition-supporting media in order to help Saakashvili? Or is Erosi trying to get a bigger share of money when Maestro TV is sold to Ivanishvili?

Or both?

TV station makes sensational news!!!!!!!!!!!

A man named Erosi owned a TV station called Rustavi2

Rustavi2 supported Misha Saakashvili and facilitated the Rose Revolution in 2004.

Rustavi2 continues to support Saakashvili and his political party.

Erosi later sold Rustavi2.

After selling Rustavi2, Erosi created a management company.

Maestro is a TV/radio station that supports the opposition party

Maestro’s owners hired Erosi’s management company to manage the broadcasting company.

Erosi hired Maestro’s owners to fill top-level jobs at the TV station.

Maestro got into financial trouble.

Erosi gave/loaned Maestro money, perhaps $4.5 million.

Billionaire and potential presidential candidate Ivanishvili wants to buy an opposition TV/radio station.

Ivanishvili probably wants to buy Maestro to function as his mouthpiece during his campaign for president .

The owners of Maestro probably want to sell to Ivanishvili.

The owners probably cut out Erosi from any deal with Ivanishvili.

Erosi says, wait, what about me? I put $4.5 million into Maestro and I paid the owners’ salaries.

Erosi fires owners from their top-level jobs at Maestro!

Erosi finds Maestro’s doors locked; he jumps fence and “invades” the TV station!

Erosi locks himself in a studio with the TV control room on the first floor!

TV station suspends TV broadcasting!

One of the station owners, Glonti, locks himself in a room on the second floor; fears eviction!

50 police arrive to prevent fight!

Journalists locked out of their TV station!

Standoff continues for second day!

TV operating under “emergency regime!”

All of Tbilisi waits as Erosi remains on first floor; Glonti remains on second floor.

Stay tuned!