International news channel Euronews has completed an agreement with Georgian telecom provider Silknet to launch Euronews Georgia, a new channel and digital platform aimed at a Georgian-speaking audience. The agreement follows a MoU between the pair signed in July.
Euronews has in the past year signed franchise agreements to launch Euronews Albania and Euronews Serbia.
The new channel will be based in Tbiliisi.
Euronews said that it would ensure that news is treated with strict impartiality by recruiting the editor-in-chief of the newly-created channel and by establishing and controlling an editorial board. The editorial board will delimit strategic editorial orientations, and will take any decision establishing rules regarding the editorial line and the general balance of programmes.
Recruitment will start shortly for the new channel, which will employ at least 50 people. Lucian Sarb, Euronews’ former chief content officer, has been hired as a strategic media consultant to help set up the new service.
Michael Peters, Euronews’ CEO said: “After only a few months of negotiations, I am very pleased that we reached an agreement to launch Euronews Georgia. We look forward to helping our partner Silknet build a new TV channel, which will broadcast international but also local news. Euronews Georgia will be an independent network, delivering impartial news and presenting all views, just as Euronews has always done. We are particularly committed to this and have put in place all necessary guarantees to ensure this.
George Ramishvili, Chairman of Silknet’s Supervisory Board said: “I am excitedabout the future launch of a new news channel Euronews Georgia on the Georgianmedia market; It will be a Georgian-speaking European channel of the highest media standards. I am sure that under the guidance of the Euronews’ highly professional team, with Mr. Lucian Sarb, and with our local professionals we will develop the highest quality product that will enrich Georgia’s media environment. The TV studios are under construction now and recruitment will commence shortly. I want once again to emphasize that as much as the editorial line so the recruitment criteria are in full compliance with Euronews’ standards. The recruited staff will undergo comprehensive training with the help of Euronews. We plan for Euronews Georgia to start broadcasting in the fall next year. I believe that this is one more step for Georgia in its journey towards European integration. And one more step for Silknet in its journey towards establishing global connectivity by a news channel for its Georgian subscribers.”