For Release:  Oct. 6, 2008 

CNN’s Debate Night in America Returns for Second Presidential Debate 
        Debate Night in America returns for the second presidential debate between Republican nominee Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.). CNN again will provide in-depth and innovative coverage as showcased during the first debate, which drew more than 7 million viewers. Anchors Wolf Blitzer, Campbell Brown, Anderson Cooper and Lou Dobbs will lead the network’s special programming Tuesday, Oct. 7, from the CNN Election Center in New York. Additional members of the “Best Political Team on Television” will travel to Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., to provide viewers with front-row seats to the debate.

        Debate Night in America  kicks off with special editions of The Situation Room from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., 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 presidential debate will air from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., followed by a special edition of Anderson Cooper 360° that runs until midnight.

        Throughout the evening, chief national correspondent John King will report alongside the “Magic Wall,” breaking down demographic data in key states. CNN correspondents Jessica Yellin, Candy Crowley, Ed Henry and senior political analyst Bill Schneider will be live on location in Nashville. Senior analysts Gloria Borger, David Gergen and Jeffrey Toobin will offer insight along with CNN political contributors Paul Begala, Bill Bennett, Donna Brazile, James Carville, Alex Castellanos, Roland Martin and Leslie Sanchez.

        CNN special correspondent Soledad O’Brien will again 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 and Live users to see the group’s reactions in real time. In addition, viewers watching the broadcast in high-definition will see exclusive scorecards gauging positive and negative information from our panel of commentators.

        Online, will provide live updates as news-making moments happen during the debate., the site’s political news gateway, will feature complete coverage and analysis before, during and after the debate. Up-to-the-minute analysis and fact checks of candidate statements 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 may engage in real-time conversation about the debates on The Forum,’s recently launched destination for social and political self-expression.

        In addition to live-streaming the debate in its entirety, Live offers users the ability to watch real-time commentary from bloggers on both sides of the political spectrum. 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, 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 users and a searchable video transcript of the debate. A special edition of the AC360 podcast, including the entire debate and featuring a special introduction from Anderson Cooper, will be available on iTunes Wednesday, October 8.
              , 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 country.

        In addition to airing live on CNN/U.S., the presidential debate will be simulcast on CNN International, CNN en Español and CNN Airport Network.
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, Susan Roesgen 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 stop at the presidential debate site. The airstream trailer will be located at Centennial Park adjacent to Vanderbilt University on Tuesday, Oct. 7, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. (CT).

        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 and vice presidential debates. These online tools can be accessed by visiting  

CNN Worldwide, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner Company, is the most trusted source 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; CNN Digital Network, the No. 1 network of news Web sites in the United States; CNN Newsource, the world’s most extensively syndicated news service; and strategic international partnerships within both television and the digital media.

All times Eastern.

For more information, visit


Edie Emery                          Washington, D.C.                       

Meryl Conant                         Washington, D.C.