Television

ABC News Announce Extensive First Presidential Debate Coverage


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ABC News has announced special three-hour primetime coverage of the first 2020 presidential debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.

Chief anchor George Stephanopoulos will lead coverage from New York City, joined by “World News Tonight” anchor David Muir and “ABC News Live Prime” anchor Linsey Davis. A one-hour special, “Trump vs. Biden: The Main Event – A Special Edition of 20/20,” kicks off coverage at 8:00 p.m. on ABC.

The program will set the stage for a critical night for both candidates, reporting on the latest developments from the campaign trail, the stakes for both campaigns, and the most important issues to voters across the country.

Following the debate, ABC News’ powerhouse political team will provide context and analysis. Coverage airs Tuesday, Sept. 29 (8:00–11:00 p.m. EDT), on ABC. ABC News Live will begin coverage at 7:00 p.m. EDT on the network’s streaming news channel.

ABC News powerhouse political team, including chief White House correspondent and “This Week” co-anchor Jonathan Karl, and senior congressional correspondent and lead campaign correspondent Mary Bruce reporting from Cleveland, “Nightline” anchor Byron Pitts, 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, White House correspondent Rachel Scott, FiveThirtyEight editor-in-chief Nate Silver and special correspondent Matthew Dowd will report on the latest developments in the race and the candidates, and the issues most important to Americans. Contributors Chris Christie, Yvette Simpson, Rahm Emanuel and Sara Fagen will provide analysis on the debate and campaigns.

ABC News Live will kick off debate coverage at 7:00 p.m. EDT/4:00 p.m. PDT on “ABC News Live Prime” with anchor Linsey Davis taking a deep dive into the most important issues at stake in this election. ABC News Live will then simulcast the debate, and immediately after, ABC News’ powerhouse political roundtable will add context and analysis.

Earlier in the day, anchor Diane Macedo will anchor “ABC News Live Update” at 9:00 a.m. EDT/6:00 a.m. PDT and 11:00 a.m. EDT/8:00 a.m. PDT, and “Your Voice Your Vote: The Breakdown,” ABC News Live’s issues-oriented political program, airing at 3:00 p.m. EDT/12:00 p.m. PDT, along with Moran, which will preview the debate and provide analysis the following day.

ABC News will have comprehensive 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. ABC News will have comprehensive 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. New digital video brands Examined will explore voting in a pandemic, and Notified will publish content comparing Trump and Biden’s stances on issues including COVID-19, healthcare, the economy, climate change and racial injustice.

FiveThirtyEight will preview the debate on the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast and survey voters before and after the debate for an Ipsos survey. During the debate, the entire FiveThirtyEight politics team will be live-blogging.

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’ flagship daily podcast “Start Here,” hosted by Brad Mielke, will preview what’s to come on debate morning and post a special edition on Sept. 30. “Start Here” will cover all angles of the debate and feature expert reporting analysis from ABC News’ political team. “Powerhouse Politics” podcast, hosted by Karl and political director Rick Klein, will release a special edition on Sept. 30, providing an overview and analysis of the night.

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, Klein, deputy political director MaryAlice Parks, FiveThirtyEight’s Galen Druke, and others from ABC News’ and FiveThirtyEight’s powerhouse political teams. ABC News Radio will also offer multiple one-minute Status Reports throughout the night.

ABC NewsOne, the affiliate news service of ABC News, will provide full coverage with multiplatform reporter Alex Presha 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.

Marc Burstein is the senior executive producer of ABC News Special Events, David Sloan is the senior executive producer of Network Primetime Content.