MSNBC announces final schedule details for "First in Nation" Presidential Primary Debates

Monday, April 23, 2007



Leslie L Schwartz


MSNBC Will Preview Both Debates, April 26 And May 3, With All Day Political Coverage Leading Into Debate

Elizabeth Edwards And Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) Will Join Chris Matthews For A Live "Hardball College Tour" From South Carolina State University

SECAUCUS, NJ - April 23, 2007 - As previously announced, MSNBC will carry exclusive live national coverage of the first national presidential primary debates including the Democratic Candidates' Debate on April 26, and the Republican Candidates' Debate on May 3.  NBC Nightly News Anchor and Managing Editor Brian Williams will moderate the South Carolina debate, which will originate from South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, South Carolina, from 7:00 to 8:30 pm (ET).  Chris Matthews will moderate the Republican Candidates' Debate, sponsored by MSNBC, The Reagan Library and, originating from the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California from 8:00 to 9:30 pm (ET).  Both debates will stream live on

As the Democratic candidates gather in South Carolina to debate the key issues facing their party and the nation, MSNBC anchors will be on hand to telecast live from the venue including Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews, Joe Scarborough and Tucker Carlson.  MSNBC will preview the debate throughout the day on April 26th with all-day political coverage beginning at 9:00 am (ET).  Anchors throughout the day will include NBC's David Gregory, Chip Reid and Peter Alexander, and MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, Chris Jansing, Amy Robach and Norah O'Donnell.  "Tucker" will telecast live at 4:00 pm (ET) from South Carolina State University.  "Hardball with Chris Matthews" 5:00 pm (ET) will present a "Hardball College Tour" with special guests Elizabeth Edwards and the third highest-ranking democrat in the House of Representatives, Congressman Jim Clyburn (D-SC) before a student audience on the campus of South Carolina State University.

MSNBC's pre-debate coverage will continue at 6:00 pm (ET) with co-anchors Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann and featuring NBC's Tom Brokaw. The debate will telecast commercial free from 7:00 to 8:30 pm (ET) with NBC's Brian Williams moderating.  The debate will also stream live on In addition, the South Carolina NBC affiliates, WIS-TV in Columbia, WYFF-TV in Greenville and WCBD-TV in Charleston will broadcast the debate. The South Carolina Democratic Party has already announced that Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Chris Dodd, John Edwards, Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich, Barack Obama, and Bill Richardson are all confirmed to participate.

MSNBC's coverage will continue immediately following the debate, with Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews interviewing candidates, campaign surrogates and political analysts, beginning at 8:30 pm (ET). MSNBC's Joe Scarborough will be live in the "spin room," with interviews with campaign officials and additional analysis. Matthews and Olbermann will anchor until midnight.  Joe Scarborough will anchor the network's continuing post-debate coverage from midnight to 1:00 am (ET).

MSNBC will also provide exclusive live coverage of the "first in the nation" Republican Candidates' Debate on Thursday May 3rd from the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, in partnership with Chris Matthews will moderate the debate, for which Sam Brownback, Jim Gilmore, Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, Duncan Hunter, John McCain, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Tom Tancredo and Tommy Thompson are confirmed.  Once again, MSNBC's primetime anchors will be on hand to telecast from the debate site. MSNBC daytime will preview the debate all day May 3rd with another all-politics day anchored by Brian Williams, Tim Russert, Andrea Mitchell, Lester Holt, David Gregory and Chip Reid, as well as MSNBC's Joe Scarborough and Chris Jansing.

"Hardball with Chris Matthews" will originate from the Reagan Library on the day before the debate, May 2 (live at 5:00 and repeating at 7:00 pm ET). MSNBC's primetime schedule on the evening of the debate will telecast as follows (all shows originating live from the Reagan Library):  "Tucker" will telecast at 4:00 pm (ET), "Hardball with Chris Matthews" will telecast at 5:00 pm (ET), a special edition of "Scarborough Country" will telecast at 6:00 pm (ET), and a special edition of "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" will telecast at 7:00 pm (ET).  The debate, which will telecast commercial free, will begin at 8:00 pm and run to 9:30 pm (ET), moderated by Chris Matthews.
MSNBC's coverage of the debate will continue at 9:30 pm with Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews.  Matthews and Olbermann will provide additional analysis until midnight.  Joe Scarborough will anchor the network's continued coverage of the debate from midnight to 1:00 am (ET).  MSNBC schedules for the debate days are further below, as well as usage rules for debate audio and video footage., THE site for political coverage, will provide users with comprehensive insight and analysis of the upcoming debates with original reporting, news, commentary, live blog updates, on-the-scene observations and Web-exclusive analysis that can only be found at will stream the debates live on the site in addition to posting live blog updates from NBC's political analysts. Video from the debates also will be available on

Millions of users can get involved by logging onto to "Rate the Debate." is providing a unique interactive opportunity for users to rate the candidates both before and after the debates, and to weigh in on a series of votes about the candidates' performance. After voting, users will be see how their vote rated along the political spectrum in comparison to the rest of the nation.  Users are also encouraged to post their thoughts on the message boards.

Leading up to the debates, will feature columns about the candidates from NBC's Chuck Todd and Mark Murray, and Newsweek's Howard Fineman. will post video montages of the candidates from the campaign trail. These clips will be posted on each of the individual candidate pages.  Users will have the opportunity to learn where the candidates stand on a variety of issues, and also review primers on South Carolina and why it matters as well as get insight on the relevance of "Super" delegates. is also encouraging users to send in questions for the debate. NBC News moderators will pull questions from the "Mailbag" and ask the candidates some of the questions.

MSNBC Schedule For April 26 (All Times Eastern)
9:00 am - 4 pm        MSNBC Daytime Coverage - Politics Day
4:00 pm               "Tucker"
5:00 pm               "Hardball College Tour with Elizabeth Edwards"
6:00 pm        MSNBC coverage of the South Carolina Democratic Party Debate hosted by Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm     Debate
8:30 pm         MSNBC post debate coverage hosted by Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews
Midnight - 1:00 am    MSNBC post debate coverage hosted by Joe Scarborough

MSNBC Schedule For May 3 (All Times Eastern)
9:00 am - 4 pm        MSNBC Daytime Coverage -  Politics Day
4:00 pm               "Tucker"
5:00 pm               "Hardball with Chris Matthews:
6:00 pm               "Scarborough Country"
7:00 pm               "Countdown with Keith Olbermann"
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm     Debate
9:30 pm          MSNBC post debate coverage hosted by Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann
Midnight - 1:00 am    MSNBC post debate coverage hosted by Joe Scarborough


(The following rules apply to all media organizations that are not part of NBC) 

News organizations, including radio, network television, cable television and local television may use excerpts of "The South Carolina Democratic Candidates Debate" subject to the following restrictions (internet use is not permitted):

1. An unobstructed onscreen credit "MSNBC" must appear during each debate excerpt and remain on screen for the entire excerpt.
2. Each debate excerpt must be introduced with an audio credit to MSNBC.
3. No excerpt may air in any medium until the live debate concludes at 8:30 pm ET.
4. No more than a combined total of 2 minutes of excerpts may be chosen for use during the period from the end of the live debate (8:30 pm ET) until 1:00 am ET on Friday, April 27. After 1:00 am ET, Friday, April 27, a total of 10 minutes may be selected (including any excerpts aired before 1:00AM). The selected excerpts may air as often as desired but the total of excerpts chosen may not exceed the limits outlined.
5. No excerpts may be aired after 8:30 pm on Saturday, May 26th.  Excerpts may not be archived. Any further use of excerpts is by express permission of MSNBC only.
6. All debate excerpts must be taped directly from MSNBC's cablecast or obtained directly from MSNBC and may not be obtained from other sources, such as satellite or other forms of transmission. No portions of the live event not aired by MSNBC may be used. A feed of MSNBC's telecast of the debate will be provided (details below), additionally limited audio/video mults will be available on site in the media center.

The NBC provided Pool Feed for the South Carolina Debate:
Date: April 26th, 2007
Time: 18:45-20:45 EDT
Coordinates: AMC1/21F
AMC1 21/F - NBC
UL Freq: 14435.00 V
DL Freq: 12135.00 H
Symbol Rate: 4.232
Data Rate: 6.5
FEC: 5/6

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