Here’s How News Networks Are Covering the Final 2020 Presidential Debate

By A.J. Katz Comment

It appears America will finally be able to see a second (and most likely final) presidential debate of the 2020 campaign featuring President Trump and former vp Biden tonight, Thursday, Oct. 22.

NBC News White House correspondent and Weekend Today co-host Kristen Welker will moderate this debate from Belmont University in Nashville.

Welker will have her work cut out for her Thursday. Not only did the first debate between Trump and Biden spin out of control, but President Trump is already trying to “work the refs,” so to speak, claiming that because Welker’s parents have donated to Democratic Party politicians in the past, this somehow means she will be biased against him on Thursday night.

This seems to be a change in attitude from earlier this year, when, unprompted in the middle of a press briefing, Trump suddenly congratulated Welker on being named Weekend Today co-host.

“By the way, congratulations on your show,  he told her. “I think they made a very wise decision.”

Here’s how the networks are covering the proceedings.

NBC:

  • Starting at 8 p.m. ET, NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt and Today co-anchor and NBC News chief legal correspondent Savannah Guthrie will anchor from NBC News Headquarters in New York, and Meet the Press moderator and NBC News political director Chuck Todd and NBC News chief foreign affairs correspondent and senior Washington correspondent Andrea Mitchell will anchor from Washington, D.C.
  • NBC News Digital:
    • NBC News Now will provide debate coverage for free, including a preshow hosted by Chuck Todd and joined by Kasie Hunt at 7 p.m. ET, followed by the network special coverage at 8 p.m. ET.
    • NBC News Now is available to stream live and on demand on Peacock, NBCUniversal’s streaming service, as well as on YouTube TV, Fubo, Xumo, Pluto, Tubi and NBC News’ OTT apps on Roku, Fire TV and Apple TV. Viewers can also stream the debate live on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
    • The NBC News digital politics team will live-blog the debate with minute-by-minute updates, highlights and takeaways. The live blog will feature reporting from Alex Seitz-Wald and Sahil Kapur, analysis from NBC News reporters and contributors and fact-checks by Jane C. Timm and Adam Edelman.
    • Following the debate, NBCNews.com will have a panel of experts share who they think won the debate and why.
    • The NBC Stay Tuned team will cover the most important moments and will partner with Snapchat to create near-live highlights of the debate. The dynamically updating episodes will be an edited highlights show from key debate moments within Stay Tuned’s channel.
    • The NBC News Data Graphics team will be tracking topics covered, whether the candidates have stayed on topic and time spent per answer throughout the debates in a digital interactive. In addition, they will continuously update their interactives on voting, polling, early results, user predictor tools and more.

MSNBC:

  • Rachel Maddow, Nicolle Wallace, Joy Reid and Brian Williams will anchor MSNBC’s special Decision 2020 coverage of the final presidential debate.
  • Starting at 8 p.m. ET, Maddow, Wallace and Reid kick off coverage ahead of the debate live from NBC News World Headquarters in New York.
  • They will be joined by a team of MSNBC political correspondents and experts with reporting and insight throughout the night, including NBC News national political correspondent Steve Kornacki, who will be stationed at the Big Board with the latest numbers and polling data.
  • Once the presidential debate wraps, Maddow, Wallace and Reid join Williams for post-debate coverage and analysis.
  • Ari Melber continues special coverage at 12:30 a.m. ET.

ABC:

  • ABC will present three hours of special coverage of the final presidential debate on Thursday from 8– 11 p.m. ET.
  • Chief anchor George Stephanopoulos will lead coverage from New York, joined by World News Tonight anchor David Muir and ABC News Live Prime anchor Linsey Davis.
  • Network coverage begins at 8 p.m. ET with a one-hour special, Trump vs. Biden: The Final Presidential Debate—A Special Edition of 20/20.
  • ABC News’ political team will dissect the most significant moments of the night and provide context and analysis following the debate.
  • ABC News Live will begin coverage at 7 p.m. ET to preview the debate on the network’s streaming news channel and will then simulcast ABC’s coverage and the debate to streaming viewers. Davis will anchor that hour.
  • ABC News’ political team will include chief White House correspondent and This Week co-anchor Jonathan Karl and senior congressional correspondent and lead campaign correspondent Mary Bruce reporting from Nashville, chief justice correspondent Pierre Thomas, chief global affairs correspondent and This Week co-anchor Martha Raddatz, senior White House correspondent Cecilia Vega, World News Tonight Weekend anchor and chief national affairs correspondent Tom Llamas,  senior national correspondent Terry Moran, FiveThirtyEight rditor-in-chief Nate Silver, special correspondent Matthew Dowd and chief legal analyst Dan Abrams.
  • Contributors Chris Christie, Yvette Simpson, Rahm Emanuel, Kate Shaw and Sara Fagen will provide analysis on the debate and candidates.
  • ABC News Live will simulcast ABC’s coverage and the debate, and immediately after, ABC News’ roundtable will add additional context and analysis following network programming.
  • Earlier in the day, anchor Diane Macedo will anchor ABC News Live Update at 9 a.m. ET and 11 a.m. ET, and Your Voice Your Vote: The Breakdown with Moran at 3 p.m. ET, will preview the debate and provide analysis the following day.
  • ABC News will have digital coverage of the debate on ABCNews.com, the ABC News mobile app and Apple News, with live updates, fact checks, key takeaways, breakout moments during the debate and post-debate analysis.
  • Digital video brand Examined will explore voting in a pandemic and feature issues-based videos comparing where Trump and Biden stand on Covid-19, healthcare, the economy, climate change, election security and racial justice.
  • FiveThirtyEight will preview the debate on the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast and survey voters in partnership with Ipsos to set a baseline to measure the debate’s effects. After the event, the team will publish a post-debate episode of the Politics podcast, an analysis piece written by Silver and a post-debate Ipsos poll that looks at who voters think won the debate and how the debate changed (or didn’t change) the race.
  • ABC News Radio will offer three hours of live, anchored coverage the night of the debate, including a one-hour pre-show, followed by the debate and live post-debate analysis. Correspondent Aaron Katersky will anchor coverage with reporting and analysis by correspondent Karen Travers, political analyst Steve Roberts, political director Rick Klein, deputy political director MaryAlice Parks and others from ABC News’ and FiveThirtyEight’s political teams.
  • ABC News Radio will also offer multiple 1-minute Status Reports throughout the night. ABC News’ flagship daily podcast Start Here, hosted by Brad Mielke, will preview what’s to come on debate morning and post a recap on Friday, covering all angles of the debate and featuring analysis from the political team.
  • ABC NewsOne, the affiliate news service of ABC News, will provide full coverage with correspondent Marci Gonzalez reporting from the site of the debate and analysis from Klein. NewsOne provides news content and services for more than 200 ABC affiliates and international news partners.

CBS:

  • CBS News’ live, prime-time coverage of tomorrow’s final debate between President Trump former vice president Joe Biden will air on CBS from 9-11 p.m. ET, and be led by CBS Evening News anchor and managing editor Norah O’Donnell from Washington.
  • CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King and 60 Minutes correspondent and CBS News senior political analyst John Dickerson will join O’Donnell.
  • CBS News chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett will offer fact-checks as part of the post-debate coverage.
  • CBS News political analyst and President Trump’s former chief of staff Reince Priebus and former senior advisor to President Obama Valerie Jarrett will offer insight and analysis. CBS News correspondent Nikole Killion will report live from the debate site in Nashville.
  • CBS News White House correspondent Paula Reid will report from the White House.
  • CBSN, CBS News’ free 24/7 streaming news service, will also provide coverage starting at 5 p.m. ET with Red & Blue followed by a debate pre-show at 8:30 p.m. ET.
  • CBSN will stream the debate live and will follow with a post-show at 11 p.m. ET.
  • CBSN’s Elaine Quijano will anchor the coverage and interview guests. CBSN political reporter Caitlin Huey-Burns will report from the field.

CNN:

  • CNN’s Erin Burnett and Anderson Cooper will kick off pre-debate coverage at 7 p.m. ET.
  • At 8 p.m. ET, Cooper will be joined by Wolf Blitzer, Jake Tapper, Dana Bash and Abby Phillip, and they will pick back up for post-debate coverage when the debate concludes at 10:30 p.m. ET.
  • Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon will lead the conversation from 1-3 a.m. ET. John King will be at the Magic Wall.
  • Jim Acosta, Arlette Saenz and Jessica Dean will be on the ground in Tennessee
  • Reporting and analysis will also be provided by CNN’s Gloria Borger, Nia Malika Henderson, Jeff Zeleny and Mark Preston.
  • CNN commentators will include David Axelrod, Van Jones, Kirsten Powers, Rick Santorum, Michael Smerconish, Andrew Yang and Scott Jennings.
  • David Chalian will share the findings of a post-debate poll of debate watchers, and Victor Blackwell will be with a swing state voter focus group in North Carolina.
  • In addition, CNN’s Daniel Dale will contribute real-time fact-checking throughout the evening.
  • The debate will stream live, without requiring a cable log-in, on CNN.com’s homepage and across mobile devices via CNN’s apps for iOS and Android. It can also be viewed on CNNgo (at CNN.com/go on your desktop, smartphone and iPad and via CNNgo apps for Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Android TV, Chromecast and Roku) and will be available on demand to subscribers via cable/satellite systems, CNNgo platforms and CNN mobile apps.

Univision:

  • Univision News special coverage for the final U.S. Presidential Debate of the 2020 electoral season: Destino 2020: El Debate Final (Destiny 2020: The Final Debate) to air live on Thursday from 8:55 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET on Univision.
  • Univision’s special pre-debate programming to air from 8 p.m. to 8:55 p.m. ET.
  • Univision News will air and livestream the debate with simultaneous Spanish-language translation.
  • The special TV coverage will be moderated by Univision News anchors Ilia Calderón and Jorge Ramos who will be joined by political experts, including:
    • Luis Miranda Jr., Democratic political analyst, founding member of The MirRam Group and board chair of Latino Victory, a grassroots organization that supports Biden’s presidential candidacy.
    • Jesús Márquez, Republican political analyst, radio personality and Latinos for Trump advisory board co-chairman.
  • Univision News anchor Patricia Janiot will bring viewers the minute-by-minute fact-checking of the candidates statements, which will be verified in real time by the Univision team that runs elDetector, the network’s data-checking platform.
  • Viewers will also be able to interact directly with the FactCHAT bot through a WhatsApp chat and consult on the statements and data that matters most to them during the debate.

Telemundo:

  • Noticias Telemundo announced that its pre-debate special coverage will include exclusive messages from both presidential candidates addressed to Latino voters.
  • José Díaz-Balart and Felicidad Aveleyra will anchor Noticias Telemundo’s special Decision 2020 coverage with Vanessa Hauc and Paulina Sodi live from Noticias Telemundo’s state-of-the-art studios at Telemundo Center.
  • Senior Washington correspondent Cristina Londoño will report live from Belmont University in Nashville.
  • Noticias Telemundo’s digital news team will provide comprehensive coverage of the debate on NoticiasTelemundo.com with minute-by-minute updates, highlights and key takeaways.
  • Network coverage will begin at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT/5 p.m. PT with a pre-debate special featuring reporting on the latest developments from the campaign trail. Following the debate, Noticias Telemundo’s network team will provide post-debate coverage and analysis.

Noticias Telemundo’s full debate coverage includes:

  • Noticias Telemundo’s on-air political analyst team of Victoria DeFrancesco Soto (assistant dean for civic engagement and a lecturer at the LBJ School of Public Affairs of Texas at Austin), Alfonso Aguilar (president of Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles) and Clarissa Martinez (vice president of policy and advocacy at UnidosUS).
  • Fact-checks by T Verifica, Noticias Telemundo’s new fact-checking platform, which will provide fact checks on com and on air.
  • Viewers can also follow fact-checks of the debate in Spanish and English through Telemundo’s chatbot on WhatsApp by adding the number +1 727 477 2212 and typing “Hola” or “Hello” in their first message, or via  hi.factchat.me
  • Exclusive digital content presented by Noticias Telemundo correspondent Damià Bonmatí and other reporters contributing reporting and analysis.
  • Simultaneous livestream on Noticias Telemundo’s new mobile app, and Noticias Telemundo’s YouTube, Facebook and Twitter and Amazon’s Alexa.

Fox News:

  • Coverage of Thursday night’s debate will be available across all Fox News Media’s platforms, including Fox News Audio, Fox News International, Fox Nation and Fox News Digital.
  • From 9-11 p.m. ET, Special Report’s Bret Baier and The Story’s Martha MacCallum will co-anchor live coverage inside the debate venue.
  • Throughout the special, Baier and MacCallum will be joined by Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace, senior political analyst Brit Hume, co-host of The Five and The Daily Briefing anchor Dana Perino, as well as co-host of The Five and political analyst Juan Williams.
  • FNC contributors Donna Brazile, Karl Rove and Katie Pavlich will also offer analysis throughout the evening.
  • On Wednesday and Thursday, Baier and MacCallum will anchor their respective programs live from Nashville.
  • The Daily Briefing and The Five will broadcast from Nashville while all other shows will originate from the network’s Washington, D.C., and New York bureaus.
  • Hannity will be presented live at 11 p.m. ET, followed by The Ingraham Angle at 12 a.m. ET and Fox News @ Night with Shannon Bream at 1 a.m. ET.
  • The Ingraham Angle will be presented live from Columbus, Ohio, on Thursday and Friday and feature focus groups of decided and undecided voters reacting to the final presidential debate and discussing their thoughts on the 2020 election.
  • Fox News Radio will present live coverage on Thursday from the Curb Event Center at Belmont University in Nashville.
  • The debate coverage will begin with an hour-long pre-show starting at 8 p.m. ET and will be led by Fox News Radio’s national correspondent Jared Halpern and Fox News Radio political analyst Josh Kraushaar.
  • Coverage will be made available on the FNC App and heard on Fox News Rado affiliates nationwide.
  • Following the debate, The Fox News Rundown Podcast will be providing detailed analysis, available at FoxNewsPodcasts.com.
  • FNR’s nationally syndicated Brian Kilmeade Show (9 a.m.-12 p.m.), Fox Across America with Jimmy Failla (12-3 p.m.) and the Guy Benson Show (3-6 p.m. ET) will be providing live reaction and analysis following the debate.
  • Additionally, Fox News Headlines 24/7 will continue its Democracy 2020 updates surrounding debate coverage every 15 minutes on SiriusXM Channel 115.
  • Fox News Digital will feature regular live-blogs along with the latest articles on all the developments ahead of, during and in the aftermath of the candidates’ standoff. The latest content will be available on desktop devices, tablets and the Fox News mobile app. Viewers can also follow all developments from the network’s signature programs on social media across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.
  • Lastly, Fox Nation, FNC’s on demand subscription-based service, will present Fox Nation’s Debate Watch Party hosted by The Pursuit!’s John Rich, No Interruption’s Tomi Lahren and Fox & Friends Weekend co-host Pete Hegseth live from Nashville. Streaming live from 8:30-11:15 p.m., the watch party will include pre-debate and post-debate commentary along with contributions from special guests.

FBN:

  • SVP and managing editor of business news Neil Cavuto will present special live coverage of the final presidential debate between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday.
  • Beginning at 8 p.m. ET, Cavuto will anchor a prime-time special entitled Fox Business Network Presents Democracy 2020: The Presidential Debate featuring pre- and post-debate analysis, as well as live coverage of the debate itself.
  • Cavuto will be joined by global markets editor and anchor of FBN’s Mornings With Maria Maria Bartiromo, Lou Dobbs Tonight host Lou Dobbs, Making Money with Charles Payne host Charles Payne, Kennedy host Lisa “Kennedy” Montgomery, Wall Street Journal at large anchor Gerry Baker and financial correspondent Jackie DeAngelis, among others, to provide commentary and reaction on the night’s event from a global and economic perspective.
  • After the Bell co-anchor Connell McShane will contribute to the night’s coverage from Georgia, sharing reactions from local business owners to both candidates’ economic platforms.
  • Leading up to the prime-time coverage, Dobbs will present a special live 7 p.m. ET encore edition of Lou Dobbs Tonight.
  • In addition, FoxBusiness.com will feature live updates throughout the evening, including real-time futures and international market reaction to the debate. The site will also livestream the debate, beginning at 9 p.m. ET while Fox News International will provide a live feed of the linear network to viewers abroad.
  • On Friday, Bartiromo will anchor Mornings with Maria, featuring international and pre-market reaction to the debate, starting earlier than usual at 5 a.m. ET.

Bloomberg:

  • Bloomberg Television and Radio will present a special simulcast, Bloomberg Balance of Power: The Second Presidential Debate, from 8:30-11 p.m. ET, providing full coverage and analysis of the final debate.
  • The broadcast will be anchored by Bloomberg’s David Westin, and will feature political contributors Jeanne Zaino and Rick Davis, as well as noted pollster Frank Luntz.
  • Chief Washington correspondent Kevin Cirilli will report from the debate site in Nashville.
  • Bloomberg.com will run a live-blog of the debate, providing real-time coverage, updates and analysis throughout the night.
  • Bloomberg QuickTake will livestream the debate and cover key moments across all of its social platforms.

Spectrum Networks:

  • Spectrum Networks will broadcast national live coverage of the final presidential debate on Thursday, October 22 at 9 p.m. ET/6  p.m. PT.
  • Spectrum News’ live network-wide coverage will air on its 30-plus news networks in California, Florida, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin, including five key battleground states—Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Wisconsin and Texas—and on the Spectrum News App available to all Spectrum residential customers, including internet-only.
  • Immediately following the live airing of the final presidential debate, Spectrum News will air Decision 2020: Spectrum News Post-Debate Special, featuring a roundtable of Spectrum News political anchors from the regional markets across the country.
  • Hosted by NY1 anchor Errol Louis, the hour-long post-debate special will include analysis from Spectrum News 1 Texas political anchor Karina Kling, Spectrum News 1 Ohio’s Curtis Jackson, Spectrum News 13 anchor Ybeth Bruzual from Orlando, Fla., and Spectrum News 1 North Carolina political anchor Tim Boyum live at the debate site in Nashville.
  • Spectrum News 1 Southern California’s Alex Cohen will fact-check while NY1 political director Bob Hardt will provide analysis.
  • On the Spectrum News App, Spectrum’s political journalists including Capital Tonight anchor Karina Kling (Texas), Political Connections anchor Holly Gregory (Tampa Bay), Ybeth Bruzual (Orlando), Tim Boyum (North Carolina), and Spectrum News D.C. bureau reporters Taylor Popielarz (Ohio), Jeevan Vital (New York) and Taurean Small (Wisconsin), will live-blog throughout the debate.

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