Jim Lehrer to Moderate First National Presidential Debate in Denver, CO

MacNeil/Lehrer Productions and the PBS NEWSHOUR are pleased to announce that the Commission on Presidential Debates has chosen Jim Lehrer to moderate the first national presidential debate on October, 3, 2012 in Denver, CO.  In accepting the invitation, Jim Lehrer said he was particularly interested in the new format.

“I believe an invitation from the Commission on Presidential Debates is similar to a draft notice – a civic responsibility,” explained Lehrer.  “Even so, it was a difficult decision, because I have previously said I would not do any more debates.  It was the new and expanded format – 6 segments of 15 minutes each – that finally tipped the scales for me.  I share the Commission on Debates’ belief that the format has the possibility to open up the debates for a more spontaneous and deeper exchange of positions and ideas.  I could not say no to trying to make that work to the fullest.  It was truly an offer I could not refuse and I am honored by the invitation.”

Jim Lehrer, Executive Editor of the PBS NewsHour, has moderated 11 national presidential debates and recently wrote a book on the experience:  “Tension City: Inside the Presidential Debates, from Kennedy-Nixon to Obama-McCain”.

PBS NEWSHOUR is seen by over 5 million weekly viewers and is also available online, via public radio in select markets and via podcast. The program is produced in association with WETA Washington, D.C., and WNET.org in New York. Major corporate funding for the PBS NEWSHOUR is provided by BNSF Railway, with additional support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and public television viewers.www.pbs.org/newshour