DNC Pulls the Plug on ABC TV Station’s Debate Participation

By Chris Ariens 

ABC’s debate next Saturday night will have one less partner as the Democratic National Committee dropped WMUR-TV as a co-sponsor today.

“As a result of WMUR’s unwillingness to move forward on scheduling negotiations between the Hearst Corporation and Production Department employees represented by IBEW Local 1228 prior to the debate, we will no longer include WMUR as a co-sponsor of the debate,” said DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz and New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley in a joint statement.

WMUR, the state’s only English-language network affiliate, will still carry the debate, but WMUR anchor Josh McElveen has been pulled as a co-moderator. “World News Tonight” anchor David Muir and ABC’s chief global affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz are the other two moderators.

“Needless to say, we’re disappointed that the efforts of the 140 WMUR employees in helping organize this debate will now be undone,” said WMUR president and gm Jeff Bartlett.

As TVSpy reported Thursday, candidate Martin O’Malley called on his fellow democrats to cease advertising on WMUR and other Hearst-owned stations. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders sent letters to WMUR urging management to negotiate with the union before the debate.

Added Bartlett, “We will continue with the policy we’ve followed with the many prior union negotiations we’ve successfully concluded – to negotiate in good faith, and directly and not through third parties.”