Saturday, January 13, 2007

CNN to Air First Debates for 2008 Presidential Race from New Hampshire

CNN Pressroom - Network Joins with WMUR-TV, New Hampshire Union Leader for Back-to-Back Debates in April 2007

CNN is teaming up with WMUR-TV and the New Hampshire Union Leader to host “First in the Nation: Presidential Primary Debates,” two back-to-back debates to be held in America’s first primary state. Featuring Republican and Democratic presidential candidates, the debates will be held on consecutive evenings, Wednesday, April 4, and Thursday, April 5.

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, anchor of the daily political newscast The Situation Room and the Sunday public affairs program Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer, will moderate the debates. Union Leader political columnist John DiStaso and WMUR political director Scott Spradling will lead the panel, and WMUR anchor Jennifer Vaughn will moderate questions from the live audience.

In addition to live prime-time airings on both CNN and WMUR, a live video stream of WMUR and in-depth coverage from the Union Leader will be offered. The debates’ impact will also be enhanced by CNN’s multiple platforms. The broadcasts will be made available to all CNN Radio affiliates worldwide. In addition, there will be special coverage on; CNN Pipeline,’s premium live news video service; CNN Podcasting; Headline News and CNN en Español.

“We are thrilled to host the first debates of this landmark election,” said CNN/U.S. president Jon Klein. “With an open field in both the Republican and Democratic parties, it is going to be vital for viewers to learn as much as possible about these candidates early on – particularly in unscripted settings like debates.”

“We think it only makes sense that the state with the first-in-the-nation primary also has the first-in-the-nation presidential debate,” said Jeff Bartlett, WMUR general manager. “Many candidates and potential candidates have already made numerous trips to New Hampshire, and we felt that April would be a good time for the voters here to get their first impression about how the candidates stack up against one another.”

Joseph W. McQuaid, president and publisher of the New Hampshire Union Leader, said, “The issues facing the next administration are as crucial as they have ever been for this country. It is not too early for the first primary state to present a forum to explore the views and the competence of serious candidates.”'

Information on the location and exact times of the two New Hampshire debates will be forthcoming.

CNN Worldwide, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner Company, is one of the world’s most respected and trusted sources for news and information. Its reach extends to nine cable and satellite television networks; one private place-based network; two radio networks; wireless devices around the world; four Web sites, including, the first major news and information Web site; CNN Pipeline,’s premium live news video service; CNN Newsource, the world’s most extensively syndicated news service; and partnerships for four television networks and one Web site.

The New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News is the largest and only state-wide newspaper in New Hampshire. The New Hampshire Union Leader in independently owned.

WMUR is the leading source of television news in New Hampshire. is the most viewed web site in New Hampshire. WMUR is owned by Hearst-Argyle Television, Inc. Hearst-Argyle owns 25 television stations, and manages an additional three television and two radio stations, in geographically diverse U.S. markets. The Company's television stations reach approximately 18% of U.S. TV households, making it one of America's largest television station groups. Hearst-Argyle owns 12 ABC-affiliated stations, and manages an additional ABC station owned by the Hearst Corporation, and is the largest ABC affiliate group.


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