Georgian TV channel Rustavi 2 did not broadcast a newscast today during its 12:00 programme, and instead ran a film.
Radio Liberty reports that Rustavi 2 journalists did not agree to host the newscast after the channel Director General Paata Salia unexpectedly dismissed head of information service Nodar Meladze, producer Giorgi Laperashvili and TV anchors Eka Kvesitadze, Giorgi Gabunia and Nanuka Zhorzholiani on August 20.
Rustavi 2 journalists say their freedom of speech is restricted at the channel under its new administration and this is why they refuse to work.
The anchors of the newscast Kurieri Diana Jojua and Mikheil Sesiashvili quit while on air yesterday. They announced their decision at 21:00 when the main newscast of the day began.
Kurieri did not broadcast this morning, nor has the TV company news website has been updated since last night.
Rustavi 2 channel owner Kibar Khalvashi, who recently regained 100% shares of the channel, said the developments were ‘not a surprise.’
Georgian MP Giorgi Volski said that Rustavi 2 is a TV channel critical of the government, but rather a TV channel that is loyal to one party.