Columbus State, WRBL, PMB Broadcasting, Ledger-Enquirer Partner on Debates

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Officials with Columbus State University, WRBL-TV, PMB Broadcasting and the Ledger-Enquirer have announced details of a partnership to enhance local and regional political coverage during the 2014 election cycle.

The partnership will include a series of live, televised debates featuring candidates vying for the open U.S. Senate seat in Georgia, as well as those taking part in the Columbus mayoral election.. It will also include a series of surveys focused on the key issues of each campaign as well as tracking polls to show where the candidates stand as voters prepare to cast their ballots.

“I am delighted that Columbus State University can actively contribute to enhancing the knowledge base for elections,” CSU President Tim Mescon said. “This is a wonderful partnership benefiting our community."

The partnership will kick off in early April with a regional poll conducted by Columbus State’s Social Research Center that will focus on the key issues on the minds of voters heading into the May 20 state primaries and municipal election in Columbus.

Issues identified by the survey will provide topics for three debates in April and May.

The first debate will take place April 21 at 7 p.m. at University Hall auditorium at CSU’s main campus and will involve the two candidates running for mayor of Columbus.

The second debate will follow two nights later, on April 23, at 7 p.m. at CSU’s Riverside Theatre Complex, featuring Democratic candidates for the U.S. Senate seat.

The third debate will feature the Republican Senate candidates in cooperation with the Georgia Republican Party. It’s scheduled for Saturday, May 10 at 6 p.m. at Legacy Hall at the RiverCenter for the Performing Arts.

The debates will air live on WRBL News 3. PMB will broadcast the mayoral debate on 105.5 The Ride. Both Senate debates will be carried on Boomer 95.3. The Georgia News Network also plans to offer the U.S. Senate debates to various radio stations outside Columbus. They will also be streamed live online.

“WRBL is all about watchdog journalism,” said David Hart, WRBL vice president and general manager. “This partnership delivers on that promise. First, by focusing our coverage and questions to the candidates around the issues that are most important to the voters. Second, by holding those seeking both of these powerful offices accountable for their past decisions and the promises they make.”

“PMB Broadcasting is proud to be a part of this important public discourse,” said Jim Martin, PMB Broadcasting owner and general manager. “Providing listeners access to these debates anywhere is a crucial part of community service and we are excited to participate.”

“Our focus at the Ledger-Enquirer is providing local news to the people of the Chattahoochee Valley,” said Rodney Mahone, president and publisher of the Ledger-Enquirer. “We’re especially pleased to be co-hosting a debate between Columbus’ mayoral candidates, and we’re also looking forward to finding out if the U.S. Senate candidates have local interests at heart.”

One final debate will be held in late October that will include nominees of each party for the U.S. Senate seat. Details on that event will be released later.

#  # #