History adds chatfest

Channel to compete with big 3

As NBC’s “Meet the Press,” ABC’s “This Week with Sam & Cokie” and CBS’ “Face the Nation” continue to slug it out for Nielsen supremacy on Sunday morning, another network has decided to stick its toe into the talking-heads whirlpool: the History Channel.

Starting Sunday at 9 a.m., “History Center” makes its debut, providing a “historical perspective on current newsmaking issues,” according to the cable net.

The premiere half-hour deals with the right to bear arms, featuring three panelists: Dave Kopel, professor of law with New York U.; Dennis Henigan, director of the legal-action project at the Center to Prevent Handgun Violence; and Richard Slotkin, professor of American History at Wesleyan U. The host is historian Steve Gillon .

In a statement, Abbe Raven, senior VP of programming for the History Channel, said that if the House of Representatives decides to schedule hearings to impeach President Clinton, “History Center” will put the event in the context of previous impeachment hearings against Andrew Johnson and the Watergate hearings on Richard Nixon.

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