New Hampshire Primary: ABC News and WMUR to Hold Only Primetime Broadcast Network Debate


ABC’s Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos to Moderate Debate from  Saint Anselm College with WMUR Anchor Josh McElveen

Debate to Air in Primetime at 9:00 PM/ET on the ABC Television Network

Excerpted Debate to Re-Air the Following Morning on “This Week with Christiane Amanpour”

ABC News and WMUR-TV, ABC’s Hearst-owned affiliate in Manchester, NH, are joining forces once again to host a Republican presidential candidate debate in New Hampshire just days before the Granite State’s first in the nation primary — a critical moment in the Republican nomination process. It will be the only broadcast network debate in primetime before the primary and will take place on the Saturday night preceding the primary from 9:00-11:00pm/ET. The debate will air live nationally on the ABC Television Network and locally on WMUR-TV and will be moderated by ABC’s Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos; they will be joined by WMUR-TV anchor Josh McElveen.

The debate will stream live on, Yahoo!, and ABC News Radio, the nation’s largest commercial radio news organization, will carry it live on its stations. ABC News will re-air an excerpted version of the debate the following Sunday morning on “This Week with Christiane Amanpour.”

The candidates will be asked about the critical issues the country faces in front of a live audience at Saint Anselm College in Manchester. Eligibility criteria for a candidate’s participation will be posted on later this week.

ABC News and WMUR-TV co-hosted back-to-back Democratic and Republican presidential debates in 2008 at the same critical point in the 2008 primary season and have enjoyed a long partnership covering “First in the Nation” politics in New Hampshire. In 2008, more than 9 million viewers across the country tuned in to watch the Democratic debate and 7.35 million for the Republican debate. The debates were also among the highest-rated programs in WMUR-TV history.

When the debate was announced in December, ABC News President Ben Sherwood said, “The days between Iowa and New Hampshire have often been make-or-break for candidates, and we look forward to putting the crucial questions of the day to the contenders for the Republican nomination. We are confident that voters in New Hampshire, and across the country, will be able to make even better decisions after watching this debate.”

“WMUR is proud of our history of partnering with ABC for presidential debates” said Jeff Bartlett, WMUR-TV President and General Manager. “We are looking forward to producing another informative debate just days before the First in the Nation Primary and again providing New Hampshire voters with a critical look at the field of candidates,” Bartlett continued.

About WMUR-TV & Hearst Television WMUR-TV is the leading source of television news in New Hampshire, reaching more than one million people, and is the largest commercial television station in the state. is the most viewed New Hampshire web site for local news.  An ABC affiliate, WMUR is owned by Hearst Television, Inc.

Hearst Television Inc. owns 29 television stations 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 the largest U.S. television station groups.  Hearst owns 13 ABC affiliated stations, and is the largest ABC affiliate group.  The Company owns 10 NBC affiliates, and is the second-largest NBC affiliate owner, and also owns two CBS affiliates.

About ABC News ABC News is responsible for all of the ABC Television Network’s news programming on a variety of platforms: television, radio and the Internet.  Its flagship program is “World News with Diane Sawyer” with other programs including “Good Morning America,” “Nightline,” “Primetime,” “20/20,” and the Sunday morning political affairs program “This Week with Christiane Amanpour.” With an average television and radio audience of 180 million people in a given month, ABC News surpasses the competition.  More than 2,400 affiliate stations broadcast ABC News Radio’s global news coverage.  In addition, ABC News NOW is a 24-hour news and information network currently available to 44 million users across cable, broadband, and mobile platforms. NewsOne, the affiliate news service of ABC News, provides live and packaged news, sports, and weather reports, as well as footage of news events, to 200 ABC affiliates and more than 30 domestic and international clients.