Hours after the offer was made, the campaigns of Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama are passing on ABC’s offer for a Diane Sawyer-moderated town hall meetings at New York’s Federal Hall. The AP reports:
The campaigns said the candidates want the meetings open for broadcast on all television networks or on the Internet, rather than be sponsored by a single network or news organization.
So, where does this leave the networks? Don’t be surprised if they get together to divvy up the weekly town hall meetings, assuming they happen at all. The networks will want some sort of exclusivity as well as an opportunity to feature their talent.