CNN has announced today, in a partnership Salem Media Group, a conservative website and radio network, that conservative host and author Hugh Hewitt will co-moderate the Reagan Library debate on September 16, 2015. This will be the first of three debates aired by CNN. The major change here involves the addition of journalists and personalities from within the circles of conservative media, as promised by the Republican National Committee.
Report from the Washington Examiner:
The Republican National Committee on Tuesday announced that CNN is partnering with Salem Media Group to host three GOP 2016 presidential primary debates sanctioned by the RNC.
Conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt will moderate the first [CNN] debate, which is scheduled to air Sept. 16 on CNN, according to a release.
“I am delighted to be included with journalists posing questions as part of one of America’s finest political traditions — the presidential debate,” Hewitt said in a statement. “These debates come at a critical time, and good questions will allow Republican primary voters the opportunity to see and hear their would-be nominees provide answers to issues that genuinely concern them. Any reporter who is also a political junkie welcomes the chance to be on such a panel, which of course I do.”
CNN anchor Jake Tapper, who previously served as as White House correspondent for ABC News, will co-moderate, according to a source familiar with the partnership.
Other radio hosts in the Salem network will be included in the additional two debates, the release said.
As noted, Hewitt will host the first of three CNN debates. The actual first debate on the schedule belongs to Fox News and will air in August, 2015, with a date not officially set.
As for the two remaining CNN debates, moderators have not yet been announced but based on the press released, it appears more talent from the Salem Media Group stable will be tapped to fill the role. This includes possibly personalities from Salem’s conservative radio network and conservative websites such as TownHall.com and HotAir.com, among others.
Check out the full 2016 Republican debate schedule here.