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CNN follows ABC News in cancelling Republican debate

The cable network will host a town hall-style forum with Republican presidential nominee candidate Nikki Haley instead.

The cable network will host a town hall-style forum with Republican presidential nominee candidate Nikki Haley instead.

Nikki Haley, the former United States Ambassador to the United Nations, appears at a campaign event. (Photo by Gage Skidmore)
Nikki Haley, the former United States Ambassador to the United Nations, appears at a campaign event. (Photo by Gage Skidmore)

CNN has become the latest broadcaster to cancel a forthcoming debate involving candidates vying for the Republican presidential nomination.

The move comes less than a day after ABC News and New Hampshire broadcaster WMUR (Channel 9, ABC) said they would cancel a planned Republican candidate debate that was scheduled for Thursday amid low candidate participation.

CNN’s debate was scheduled for this upcoming Sunday. Like ABC News, CNN said a lack of participation among candidates was the primary reason for the cancellation.

Both networks dropped plans to produce a Republican debate after former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley said she would not appear at any future debate unless former U.S. President Donald Trump also took the stage.

Trump, the presumed Republican front-runner who won the Iowa Caucus on Monday, has refused to participate in any debate involving fellow GOP candidates, instead opting to appear at town hall-style forums where he is interviewed one-on-one by television journalists.

In place of the debate, CNN says it will conduct a town hall-style interview with Haley on Thursday, which will be moderated by broadcast columnist Anderson Cooper. A spokesperson for the network said CNN will “continue to pursue other opportunities as the campaign season progresses through 2024, including candidate town halls.”

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).