New Head of Georgian Public Broadcaster Elected

The Board of Trustees of the Public Broadcaster elected acting Director Tinatin Berdzenishvili as General Director of the Georgian Public Broadcaster for a six-year term on a September 25 session. Her candidacy was supported by eight out of nine members of the Board. Zaza Abashidze, a member of the Board elected by the opposition quota, was the only one to not vote for Berdzenishvili.

Tinatin Berdzenishvili has been working for the Public Broadcaster since 2011. In 2011-14 she headed the public relations department of the broadcaster, while simultaneously acting as a presenter for the channel in 2012-13. In 2014-15 she was appointed as Director of the Marketing Department. Since 2018, Berdzenishvili has been the First Deputy Director of the Broadcaster which led to her appointment as Acting Director in late August 2020. She also held the same position following Giorgi Baratashvili’s resignation as General Director in 2016.

The General Director post of the Public Broadcaster became vacant after former director Vasil Maghlaperidze resigned on August 18, citing doubts over the impartiality of the Public Broadcaster before the upcoming October elections as the reason behind his decision.

A competition for the appointment of a new General Director of the broadcaster was announced on the same day, with eight candidates running for the position. Based on the September 22 decision of the Board of Trustees, four out of the eight candidates advanced to the next stage of the contest: film director Alexander (Sandro) Vakhtangov, singer and journalist Irma Sokhadze, political scientist Khatuna Lagazidze, and Tinatin Berdzenishvili.

An interview with the candidates was held on September 24, after which Sandro Vakhtangov decided to withdraw his candidacy from the competition. As such, the members of the Board of Trustees selected Tinatin Berdzenishvili as General Director among a total of three candidates. Khatuna Lagazidze received one vote in the open voting held today, while Irma Sokhadze received none. Zaza Abashidze was the only member of the Board of Trustees to vote for Lagazidze instead of Berdzenishvili.

In a related development on September 22, the Board of Trustees increased the salary of the General Director of the Public Broadcaster from 4,000 GEL to 10,000 (gross 12,500) GEL (gross USD 3,800).

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