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ABC News to Host Republican Primary Debate Between Iowa Caucus, New Hampshire Primary

ABC News is the latest network to get into the 2012 Presidential debate game, announcing a GOP primary debate to be held in New Hampshire in between the Iowa Caucus and the New Hampshire primary in 2012.

ABC will be partnering with Hearst-owned ABC affiliate WMUR on the debate. WMUR is also partnering with CNN on a GOP primary debate, which is slated to be held in June, 2011.

While the ABC debate may be late when compared to the previously announced GOP debates hosted by NBC News, CNN and Fox News, it will be held during a particularly important time:

“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,” said incoming ABC News President Ben Sherwood in a statement.  “We are confident that voters in New Hampshire, and across the country, will be able to make even better decisions after watching this debate.”

More information, after the jump.

ABC NEWS AND WMUR-TV TO HOST REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE DEBATE IN NEW HAMPSHIRE

Debate to Air on ABC Between the Iowa Caucuses and New Hampshire’s First in the Nation Primary

ABC News and WMUR-TV, ABC’s Hearst-owned affiliate in Manchester, NH, are joining forces once again to host a Republican presidential primary debate in New Hampshire between the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary in 2012. This debate will be held at a critical moment in the Republican nomination process — just as the primary season gets underway. The specific date and time of this debate will be determined once the dates for the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary have been determined by state officials. The debate will air locally on WMUR-TV, nationally on the ABC Television Network and will be live-streamed on ABCNews.com and WMUR.com.

ABC News and WMUR-TV co-hosted back-to-back Democratic and Republican presidential debates in 2008 at the same time in the 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.

“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,” said incoming ABC News President Ben Sherwood. “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” said Bartlett.

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. WMUR.com 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.

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