PRESS RELEASE from CNN
For Release: Sept. 23, 2008
CNN Pulls Out All Stops
for Coverage of First McCain-Obama Presidential Debate
‘Best Political Team on Television,’ Election Express, ‘Magic Wall’ for
‘Debate Night in America’ on Friday, Sept. 26
On the heels of the network’s top-rated primary and convention
coverage, CNN will air the first presidential debate between Republican
nominee Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Democratic nominee Sen. Barack
Obama (D-Ill.) live from The University of Mississippi in
high-definition on Friday, Sept. 26, across multiple platforms.
Anchors Wolf Blitzer, Campbell Brown and Anderson Cooper will preside
over coverage from the state-of-the-art CNN Election Center in New
York. The day’s coverage will kick-off with special
debate-focused editions of The Situation Room from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.,
followed by Lou Dobbs Tonight from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Campbell Brown:
Election Center from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. The first presidential debate
will air from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., with a special edition of Anderson
Cooper 360° following from 10:30 p.m. to midnight which will
provide analysis and commentary on the evening’s developments.
Chief national correspondent John King will be in the studio with the
“Magic Wall” to provide in-depth analysis on demographic and delegate
data. As the first presidential debate will be focused on foreign
affairs, chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour and
Baghdad-based correspondent Michael Ware will contribute their analysis
from a global perspective.
Throughout the special coverage, senior political analyst Gloria
Borger, senior political analyst David Gergen and senior analyst
Jeffrey Toobin will be on hand to offer their analysis. Additionally,
CNN political contributors Paul Begala, Bill Bennett, Donna Brazile,
James Carville, Alex Castellanos, Roland Martin and Leslie Sanchez will
provide insight from their perspectives across the ideological spectrum.
CNN correspondents Dana Bash, Candy Crowley, Ed Henry, Suzanne
Malveaux, Jessica Yellin and senior political analyst Bill Schneider
will be live on location at the debate site with the CNN Election
Express in Oxford, Miss. The Election Express will serve not only
as an on-the-ground broadcast location, but also as a production
facility and newsroom for the CNN political unit.
CNN special correspondent Soledad O’Brien will moderate a focus group
in Columbus, Ohio. The group will be comprised of a selection of
voters from the hotly contested state. During the debate, the
participants will operate electronic dial testers that will allow
television viewers to see the group’s reactions in real time. In
addition, viewers watching the broadcast in high-definition will see
exclusive editorial information and commentary appearing on the side
panels of their screens throughout the debate.
The first presidential debate will air live on CNN/U.S. and will
simulcast on CNN International, CNN en Español and CNN Airport
Network. The debate will also stream live on CNN.com Live, the
CNN.com’s multi-stream, live video news service. On Saturday,
Sept. 27, the debate will replay on CNN/U.S. at midnight and 3 a.m. and
on CNN International at 5 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Online, CNN.com will provide live updates as newsmaking moments happen
during the debate. CNNPolitics.com, the site’s political news gateway,
will feature complete coverage and analysis before, during and after
the debate. Up-to-the-minute analysis will be available from the
CNN Political Unit on the Political Ticker, the Internet’s No. 1
political news blog according to Nielsen Online. Users also are
encouraged to engage in real-time conversation about the debates on The
Forum, CNN.com’s recently launched destination for social and political
In addition to live streaming the debate in its entirety, CNN.com Live
offers users the ability to watch real-time commentary from bloggers on
both the left and right. CNN.com Live anchor Melissa Long will
host hour-long pre- and post-debate shows including analysis from the
‘Best Political Team on Television.’ For its post-debate
coverage, CNN.com will offer users the ability to watch the entire
debate online through video on-demand and full text transcripts.
Additional post-debate coverage will include Report Cards for each
candidate featuring “grades” from CNN political analysts as well as
debate performance ratings from CNN.com users. A special edition
of the AC360 podcast, including the entire debate and featuring a
special introduction from Anderson Cooper, will be available on iTunes
on Saturday, Sept. 27.
iReport.com, CNN’s unfiltered user-generated news community, is
inviting iReporters to share their video analysis of the debate, as
well as the ways and places people are watching the debate around the
CNN Radio will carry the full debate live for its affiliates. At the
conclusion of the debate, CNN Radio will provide a half-hour program
with post-debate analysis.
CNN Newsource will provide its affiliates access to on-site reports
from correspondents Sandra Endo, John Zarrella and RunningMate
correspondent Samantha Hayes.
The Election Express Yourself, the network’s customized Airstream
trailer designed to give Americans across the nation an interactive
political experience, will make a stop at the debate site. The
trailer will be located at the Grove on the University of
Mississippi’s campus, from noon to 10 p.m.
In an effort to help educators and parents discuss the political
process with students, CNN Student News, CNN's cost-and-commercial-free
educational program for middle and high schools, is offering several
free resources, including a downloadable one-sheet, a "Debates Viewing
Guide," and a video explainer about presidential debates. These
online tools can be accessed by visiting CNNStudentNews.com <https://atlwebaccess.turner.com/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=https://atlwebaccess.turner.com/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.cnnstudentnews.com/> .
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For more information, visit www.CNNPressroom.com