Dallas, Texas - GOP gubernatorial candidate Debra Medina has been added to a one-hour statewide debate with Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and Gov. Rick Perry to be broadcast on January 29, at 7 p.m.
In a Rasmussen poll released on Monday, Medina is now at 12 percent of support among likely potential Republican voters, which is a substantial jump since the previous poll.
"Factoring in the poll's margin of error (3.5 percent) and using reasonable news judgment, it appears Ms. Medina is a viable candidate and qualifies for the Belo Debate to be broadcast in late January," said Mike Devlin, WFAA president and general manager.
As previously announced, "The Belo Debate," will originate from WFAA studios in Dallas, and air live on Belo Corp. television stations in Houston (KHOU), San Antonio (KENS), Austin (KVUE) and on Texas Cable News (TXCN). The debate will also be streamed live and archived on the Web sites operated by Belo broadcast and cable companies, and on the Web site operated by A. H. Belo Corporation's newspaper, The Dallas Morning News.
"We adhered to the original selection criteria for the Debate," added Devlin, "and have added Ms. Medina accordingly, due to her latest increase in the polls."
In Belo markets, Spanish stations and public broadcast stations will be permitted to carry the debate live. Outside Belo markets, all television stations may carry the debate live. Radio stations, regardless of their market location, may broadcast the debate and will access the audio via the satellite feed. The debate will available in Spanish on WFAA's SAP channel.
The process for selecting candidates is based largely on the rulings and findings of the FCC and other bodies. The criteria for participation includes whether a candidate: receives significant levels of public support in independent public opinion polls, e.g.15 percent, which is the minimum used by the Commission on Presidential debates; has received substantial campaign contributions from varied sources; has previously held significant public office(s); has received a substantial level of votes in prior elections for the same or comparable office(s); will be reported by news agencies in election night returns; and, has received significant news coverage from a wide range of media outlets. The FCC and other bodies grant stations the right to exercise good faith news judgment in determining which candidates participate in televised debates, and to use reasonable news judgment in reaching such decisions, with the intent to neither promote a candidate nor create a disadvantage for a candidate.
About Belo Corp.
Belo Corp. (BLC) is one of the nation's largest pure-play, publicly-traded television companies, with 2008 annual revenue of $733 million. The Company owns and operates 20 television stations (nine in the top 25 markets) and their associated Web sites. Belo stations, which include affiliations with ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CW and MyNetwork TV, reach more than 14 percent of U.S. television households in 15 highly-attractive markets. Nearly all Belo stations rank first or second in their local market. Additional information is available at www.belo.com or by contacting Dave Muscari, vice president/product development, at 214.977.6490.