4 Strikes First

This release is good news for Channel 4 and its political analyst Jon Keller, who will moderate the debates. And it puts another nail in the coffin of the so-called "media consortium" that was just beginning to organize to plan gubernatorial debates and their coverage. Instead, Channel 4 freelanced with its own debate schedule, whiich is certain to provoke sniping from the city's other media outlets.

"We felt we wanted to start something different," Keller told Media Log. "We're in a mode, as a station, where we are putting a lot of emphasis on campaign coverage...and have the freedom to experiment that you don't necessarily have as a member of a consortium." Translation: We don't need no stinkin' consortium.

Boston - June 15, 2006 - Today, CBS4 News announced plans for an extensive series of political debates as candidates approach the final stretch of Campaign 2006.  Continuing to provide the region’s top political coverage, CBS4 will produce the final scheduled debate in the Democratic primary race for governor on Wednesday, September 13 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Then in November, Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey, the Republican party's unopposed candidate for governor, has agreed to participate in the final pre-election debate on Wednesday, November 1, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., to be broadcast live from the CBS4 studios.  All candidates legally qualified for the ballot will be included in the debate, which will be made available statewide on TV and radio.

Debates are also planned in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor and the Republican US Senate primary, along with final election debates for lieutenant governor and attorney general.

"Viewers and voters consistently tell us that televised debates are one of the most important ways they learn information about the candidates running for public office," said Jennifer Street, CBS4 News Director.  "CBS4 News has a long history of producing some of the most memorable local political debates, and we are proud to continue that tradition during this crucial campaign season."

The debates are part of comprehensive Campaign Team coverage at CBS4, which includes in-depth coverage of daily political news, reporting and one-on-one interviews by political analyst Jon Keller, expert analysis from senior correspondent John Henning, truth-testing of political ads and skeptical review of campaign statements by Keller's "Spin-O-Meter."

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