GOP in Talks With Networks About Debates, And Even CNN Is Included

Conversations between RNC officials and television executives signal that the contours of the Republican nominating contest are shaping up.

GOP Votes To Withdraw From Presidential Debate Panel

The Republican National Committee voted Thursday to withdraw from the commission responsible for organizing presidential debates, taking a line from former President Trump, who has repeatedly leveled accusations of anti-Republican bias against the group. The unanimous vote by the RNC effectively bars its presidential nominees from participating in events organized by the Commission on Presidential Debates, which has run such debates since 1988.

Fox News Tops For Trump-Biden II

The second presidential debate Thursday will finish well below the first in terms of viewership. Fox News drew 14.7 million viewers, ABC was second with 10.7 million. NBC finished in a close third place with 10.2 million viewers and CNN was fourth with 7.2 million. MSNBC was fifth with 6.7 million and CBS was sixth with 5.5 million.


The Mute Button Was A Godsend. It Also Amplified The Candidates’ Differences

Having to muzzle the president to salvage a debate is nothing to brag about. But at least it worked.

Welker Sharp In First Turn As Debate Moderator

The NBC News White House correspondent worked hard Thursday to keep control of the second and final encounter between President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden, steering but not stifling exchanges. Midway through the debate, she even received a compliment from the Republican president, who said, “So far, I respect very much the way you handled this.”

Mission impossible? Welker On Tap To Moderate Second Debate

President Donald Trump steamrolled Chris Wallace with constant interruptions in the first one, a performance that cost the Republican incumbent support in the polls. Susan Page struggled to make the vice presidential candidates adhere to time limits their campaigns had agreed to in advance. Next up: Kristen Welker. The NBC News White House correspondent is scheduled to moderate Thursday’s second and last session between Trump and Democrat Joe Biden. It’s hard not to feel trepidation for her.


What Kristen Welker Can Learn From Savannah Guthrie

Margaret Sullivan: “Savannah Guthrie brought her A game to last week’s NBC town hall with President Trump. As Thursday’s final debate between Trump and Joe Biden approaches, Guthrie’s NBC colleague, White House correspondent Kristen Welker, needs to have the best night of her career, too — but in a very different way. To make this debate something that serves the public interest rather than being the disastrous circus that it could be, she needs to be in control.”

Debate Commission Will Mute Mics On Thurs.

President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden will have their microphones cut off in Thursday’s debate while their rival delivers their opening two-minute answer to each of the debate topics. The 90-minute debate is divided into six 15-minute segments, with each candidate granted two minutes to deliver uninterrupted remarks before proceeding to an open debate. The open discussion portion of the debate will not feature a mute button, but interruptions by either candidate will count toward their time in the second and final debate Thursday.

Fox News Is Most-Watched For Debate

Tuesday night’s debate between President Donald Trump and former vice president Joe Biden drew 73.1 million total viewers, according to Nielsen data. Fox topped the viewing list with 17.8 million total viewers/5.3 million among adults 25-54. ABC was next at 12.6 million/4.9 million. Included in the totals are out-of-home and connected TV viewing.

Chuck Todd: Chris Wallace Not to Blame For ‘Trainwreck’ Presidential Debate


The Best Evidence Chris Wallace Did A Fine Job Moderating? Everyone’s Pissed

There is an old adage about negotiations that states one can only be truly confident of a fair and equitable agreement when both sides walk away from the table feeling like they each got the short end of the stick. I’m reminded of that old saw following the first 2020 presidential debate from Tuesday night, and the equal amounts of animus directed towards Chris Wallace for the job he did as moderator.

Debate Commission Says It Will Change Format

The commission said Wednesday the debate “made clear that additional structure should be added to the format of the remaining debates to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues.” The next presidential debate is a town hall format scheduled for Oct. 15 in Miami.

For Chris Wallace, Debate Was Runaway Train

The contest between President Donald Trump and Vice President Joe Biden was chaotic from start to finish. With interruptions and interjections, Trump tried to throw his Democratic opponent off stride. Pleas, increasingly frustrated and loud, were the only tools Wallace had at his disposal to try to maintain control.

TV Ads Around Presidential Debates To Grow

With many TV networks reportedly sold out or near sold out of advertising time in pre- and post-programming around the upcoming Presidential debates, TV advertising revenues among the top TV networks are expected to exceed the total $16 million mark set four years ago. The top six broadcast and cable TV networks — ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox News Channel and MSNBC — pulled in a collective $15.5 million in national TV advertising revenues for the three Presidential debates, according to — yielding more than 410 million impressions.

Advertisers Rush To Debates, Election Coverage

The debates may give advertisers of all stripes something they have not had in some time — a massive TV audience tuning in to an event that is not related to sports. NBC, CBS and ABC have all sold out their commercial inventory around the first debate on Tuesday, according to people familiar with the matter — as has Fox News Channel.

Controversy Over A Presidential Debate Topic

The topics for the first presidential debate focus on issues that have dominated the news throughout 2020 — the economy, the coronavirus pandemic and the records of the two leading contenders. But the framing of one of the debate topics has set off alarms and objections. “Race and Violence in Our Cities” seems to echo President Trump’s contentious characterization of the protests that have swept American cities this summer and gives a false sense of the issue, critics say.

National Assn. Of Hispanic Journalists Blasts Presidential Debate Commission Over Moderator Selections

Moderators For Trump-Biden Debates Set

According to the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates, the moderators will be: Chris Wallace of Fox News for the debate Sept. 29 in Cleveland; Steve Scully of C-SPAN for the “town meeting” debate Oct. 15 in Miami; NBC’s Kristen Welker for the debate Oct. 22 in Nashville.

NBC News Sets Moderators For Dem Debate

Lester Holt, Chuck Todd, Hallie Jackson, Noticias Telemundo’s Vanessa Hauc and the Nevada Independent’s Jon Ralston will moderate the Democratic debate in Las Vegas on Feb. 19 in Las Vegas, sponsored by NBC News and MSNBC.

President Trump Slams Debate Commission

President Trump on Monday hammered the Commission on Presidential Debates, raising questions about his participation in debates next year with the eventual Democratic presidential nominee. The president, in a trio of tweets, said he looked forward to debating “whoever the lucky person is who stumbles across the finish line” in the Democratic primary.

Nets Set For First 2 Democratic Debates

NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo will air the first Democratic primary debate in June, and CNN will show the second event in July, the Democratic National Committee announced on Thursday.


KDVR Denver Debate Promo A Knockout

FBN Fans Most Likely to Watch Entire Debate


Final Debate Is Third Most Watched Ever

The debate from Las Vegas, moderated by Fox News Channel’s Chris Wallace, attracted 71.6 million viewers, exceeding the 66.5 million people who watched the second debate. The first time these two candidates met on stage in September, the audience of 84 million set a viewership record, Nielsen said Thursday.

Fox’s Wallace Makes News With Follow-Up

Chris Wallace walked the finest of lines during a campaign where debate moderators received an intense focus. As the first-ever general election moderator of Fox News, he had the hopes of an organization in the midst of a tough year riding on him along with additional baggage. Noting Trump’s claims Wednesday night that the election was being rigged against him, Wallace asked the Republican whether he would accept the results win or lose, noting that GOP vice presidential candidate Mike Pence said that he would. When Trump answered that “we will look at it at the time,” Wallace seemed incredulous.

Tapper Blasts Questions Leak To Clinton

Jake Tapper of CNN was a moderator of a March 13 Democratic town hall event in which Hillary Clinton appears to have gotten an unfair advantage. As disclosed earlier this week in a WikiLeaks trove of emails relating to Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, the Clinton campaign received word from then-CNN contributor Donna Brazile that a death-penalty question was on tap for the event. “To find out that someone was unethically helping the Clinton campaign — tipping them off — is just very, very upsetting,” Tapper said.

Early Numbers Show Drop From First Debate

Presidential Debate 2 scored about 60.3 million viewers last night, failing to eclipse the historic 84 million who’d tuned in for the first debate last month.

Trump Suggests Debate Mods Favored Clinton

A debate full of personal swipes exchanged by Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton also included Trump’s snarky suggestion that moderators Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz were favoring Clinton.


CNN, ABC Feuding Over Next Debate?

Anderson Cooper — who has just signed a new long-term deal with CNN — and ABC’s Martha Raddatz are moderating Sunday’s town-hall debate together, and, sources say, the rival network anchors are at odds over who gets to grill the candidates on the most blistering topics.

Nets Draw On Facebook Ahead Of Town Hall

ABC News and CNN are both using Facebook to solicit feedback ahead of next weekend’s town-hall style presidential debate.

NBC Leads Early Debate Stats

In early numbers, ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox averaged a combined 42.4 million total viewers for last night’s first presidential debate from 9-11 p.m. NBC led with an average 15.6 million viewers, followed by ABC with 11.6 million, CBS with 10.2 million, and Fox with 5 million. Nielsen will release final stats later this afternoon.

NBC’s Holt Worked To Keep Control Of Debate

Lester Holt asked questions about job creation and home-grown terrorism in Monday’s first debate, and also hit on specific issues regarding the birther controversy, Trump’s decision not to release his tax returns and Clinton’s email scandal. The sole journalist onstage, Holt was responsible for the questions asked and for steering the conversation.

Increased Presidential Debate Access From Univision

As part of what it calls its “ongoing commitment to inform and empower Hispanic America across the nation,” Univision Communications Inc. (UCI) today announced that it is going to provide access to watch tonight’s first presidential candidate debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Viewers can watch UCI’s complete Spanish-language coverage of the debate from […]

A Moment Of Truth For Debate Moderators

News outlets and fact-checking sites can separate truth from fable after a debate, but it falls to the moderator to interject in the moment when a candidate lies.

Stephanopoulos To Lead ABC Debate Coverage


As Debate Nears, Spotlight Is On Lester Holt

Dylan Byers: “On Monday, the NBC Nightly News anchor will preside over what may be the most highly anticipated presidential debate in American history. If Holt does anything less than a perfect job, he will likely be pilloried like Matt Lauer and the CNBC anchors before him. But if he gives a command performance, he will, at least for a moment, be a national icon.”

Advertisers Flock To Presidential Debates

The price to take part isn’t cheap – though it is considerably less dear than a Super Bowl berth. CBS is seeking between $200,000 and $225,000 for a 30-second ad during its post-debate coverage, according to people familiar with the matter. The cable news networks, meanwhile, are prodding advertisers who want to run commercials adjacent to the debate to buy larger packages of ad inventory in exchange for the access.

Twitter To Live Stream Presidential Debates

There’s hardly a platform on which Americans won’t be able to see Hillary Clinton squaring off against Donald Trump in the three presidential debates. Twitter is now in the game via a deal with Bloomberg to live stream its coverage, and the form will be the same as its streaming of NFL games.

Baier, Kelly To Co-Anchor FNC Debate Coverage

Ad Buyers: First Debate Will Hurt NFL Ratings

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the Sept. 26 debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is expected to reduce ratings for ESPN’s Monday Night Football. Ad buyers are predicting about 10.3 million to 11 million viewers, which would be down 15% to 20% from last year’s average Monday Night Football rating. Journal subscribers can read the full story here.