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Is CNN Trying To “Stick It To Fox” By Re-Airing ABC’s Debates?

It was simply one network president calling another that sealed the deal to re-air the ABC News/Facebook debates on CNN tonight.

CNN/U.S. president Jon Klein phoned ABC News president David Westin Friday afternoon and asked if ABC would allow the encore presentation on CNN. “David Westin and I have a very good relationship of longstanding, so it was easy to reach out and come to a very quick agreement,” Klein told Howard Kurtz this morning on Reliable Sources.

The re-air of the GOP & Democratic debates begins at 7pmET, one hour before Fox News Channel’s live GOP forum. This morning Kurtz asked his boss, “So, are you trying to stick it to FOX with some counter-programming?”

“We’re not trying to,” Klein said “If that’s one of the off-shoots of it, so be it.” Then taking a perceived jab at FNC for keeping two GOP candidates out of their forum, Klein said, “mostly, it’s an opportunity to give viewers a chance to hear Republicans and all of the viable Republicans and all of the Democrats — or more of the Democrats — debating and talking.”

Reached for comment, a Fox News Channel executive tells TVNewser, “Jon’s decision to run day old news is yet another reason we were thrilled when he signed his new deal last month.”

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