February 7, 2007


Manchester, NH/Washington, DC - ABC News, WMUR-TV, the Hearst-Argyle Television-owned ABC affiliate in Manchester, NH, and the New Hampshire Union Leader, will produce four live presidential candidate debates -- two in October 2007 and two in January 2008. These debates are in addition to the two forums ABC News and ABC5/WOI-TV, will be producing in Iowa in August 2007.

George Stephanopoulos, chief Washington correspondent and anchor of This Week, will moderate the October 2007 debates. The Union Leader’s senior political reporter, John DiStaso, and Scott Spradling, WMUR's political director, will also question the candidates. The Republican debate will be held on Sunday, October 14th and the Democratic debate will be Sunday, October 21st, both in Manchester, New Hampshire. The October debates will air nationwide as special editions of This Week with George Stephanopoulos.

The January debates, also in Manchester, will be held the week before the New Hampshire Primary. Detailed information on the dates, locations and formats of the January debates will be forthcoming. and will also live stream all four debates on their websites. plans multiple real-time web components including off-air camera angles, analysis and an unprecedented effort to let the people of New Hampshire be heard on-line.

ABC News chief Washington correspondent and anchor of This Week, George Stephanopoulos, said, “I think it’s terrific that we are able to continue our On the Trail series in the first-in-the-nation primary state. The people of New Hampshire have the unique opportunity to meet the candidates in person; these town hall style debates will give our viewers around the country that same opportunity. I thank WMUR and the Union Leader for their partnership and look forward to lively discussions that will further inform our viewers about where the candidates stand on critical issues.”

WMUR General Manager Jeff Bartlett said, “We are very pleased to be offering the voters of New Hampshire these opportunities to see the field of candidates running for president and listen to their ideas and plans for the country. New Hampshire has an important role to play in American politics with its first-in-the-nation primary and WMUR is committed to providing voters with as much information as we can in debates, news coverage, special programming and on our website,, to help them make their decision.”

The New Hampshire Union Leader is the largest and only statewide newspaper in New Hampshire. It has been a dominant voice in the Granite State since its founding in 1863. Its fast-growing online news site,, specializes in fast updates of breaking news supplied by more than 40 local reporters and correspondents. The daily newspaper and the web site are part of the Union Leader Corporation, an independently owned company. Joseph W. McQuaid is its president and publisher.

WMUR is the leading source of television news in New Hampshire. is the most viewed New Hampshire website for local news. WMUR is owned by Hearst-Argyle Television, Inc. Hearst-Argyle owns 25 television stations, and manages an additional three television and two radio stations, in geographically diverse U.S. markets. The Company's television stations reach approximately 18% of U.S. TV households, making it one of America’s largest television station groups. Hearst-Argyle owns 12 ABC-affiliated stations, and manages an additional ABC station owned by the Hearst Corporation, and is the largest ABC affiliate group.

ABC News Andrea Jones 202/222-6896, c) 202/271-8057 <>
WMUR-TV Alex Jasiukowicz 603/641-9073, <>
New Hampshire Union Leader Charlie Perkins, 603/668-4321 x 321, <>

- ABC-