How the Networks Are Covering Sunday’s Town Hall Debate

By Mark Joyella 

Sunday night’s second presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton has taken on added drama with Friday night’s release of Trump’s vulgar comments about a women–and women in general–from 2005. The intense interest in how both Trump and Clinton approach the comments, will likely give a boost to ratings. The first debate on Sept. 26 was watched by 84 million TV viewers on 13 networks rated by Nielsen.

Here’s how the broadcast and cable networks plan to cover the debate. Some plans have not been finalized, and we will update as we receive details from the networks:

ABC News: George Stephanopoulos anchors debate coverage from New York from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET, joined by David Muir, Jonathan Karl, Cecilia Vega, Tom Llamas, Byron Pitts, Cokie Roberts and Matthew Dowd. ABC will air Nightline at 12:35 a.m., with Dan Harris re-capping the key events from the debate, and live coverage from the spin room. ABC News Digital will provide coverage throughout the day from St. Louis, and lead evening coverage with its original series Strait Talk, with Dowd and LZ Granderson. Amna Nawaz and Granderson will lead coverage of the debate itself. ABC’s Martha Raddatz co-moderates the debate.


CBS News: Gayle King, Norah O’Donnell, John Dickerson, Bob Schieffer, Major Garrett and Nancy Cordes lead CBS News live coverage from St. Louis, from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET.

CNN: In addition to having Anderson Cooper serve as one of the town hall debate’s moderators, CNN’s Debate Night in America coverage will begin with a special edition of Erin Burnett OutFront at 7 p.m. ET, and continuing through 1 a.m. ET. Dana Bash, Wolf Blitzer, Burnett and Jake Tapper will lead coverage from St. Louis, with more than 15 anchors, correspondents, analysts, reporters and commentators on the ground at the debate site. CNN will also produce special, live editions of The Lead with Jake Tapper and Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer from St. Louis Sunday.

Fox News: Coverage begins at 6 a.m. ET with Fox & Friends, Mediabuzz, America’s Election HQ, Shepard Smith Reporting, Your World with Neil Cavuto and The Five all originating from Washington University. Special Report with Bret Baier and On the Record with Brit Hume at 6 and 7 p.m. ET, respectively followed by Bill O’Reilly from New York, then Baier and Megyn Kelly anchor coverage of the debate, following by The Kelly File at 11 p.m. ET and Hannity at Midnight. The debate will air on TV and on FNC’s mobile platforms, and you can watch without having to be a subscriber.

FBN: Neil Cavuto anchors beginning at 8 p.m. ET. Before that, Trish Regan hosts Intelligence Report at 6 p.m. followed by Lou Dobbs Tonight at 7 p.m.

PBS: Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff will anchor PBS NewsHour coverage of the debate, with David Brooks, Mark Shields, and Amy Walter in studio and correspondent John Yang in St. Louis. NewsHour’s coverage will stream on Facebook, YouTube and Ustream.

MSNBC: Anchors Stephanie Ruhle, Joy Reid, Andrea Mitchell, Hallie Jackson, Kristen Welker, Tamron Hall, Chuck Todd (in New York), and Chris Hayes lead dayside coverage.

Primetime coverage begins at 7 p.m. ET, anchored by Rachel Maddow and Brian Williams in New York, with Chris Matthews in St. Louis. Additional correspondents include Kasie Hunt, Chris Jansing, and Katy Tur in St Louis; Kelly O’Donnell covering Mike Pence in Indiana; and Jacob Soboroff with voters in South Carolina. The debate will stream live on and

CNBC: Your Money, Your Vote: Presidential Debate will air live at 9 p.m. ET, anchored by Carl Quintanilla, Kelly Evans and Michelle Caruso-Cabrera from the NASDAQ in New York with John Harwood at the debate site in St. Louis. CNBC will stream its coverage on and on Facebook.

Univision: Broadcasting live with simultaneous Spanish translation on the Univision Network,, the Univision and Univision Noticias apps, the network’s YouTube, Facebook, Periscope and Snapchat Live platforms; additionally, it will live-stream in English on Jorge Ramos and María Elena Salinas host pre- and post-debate coverage.