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Debate moderators set

Commission has not set any news orgs to air sessions

NEW YORK — TV news veterans Charlie Gibson, Jim Lehrer and Bob Schieffer were tapped Friday to moderate the three upcoming presidential debates, while PBS Washington correspondent Gwen Ifill was selected to moderate the veepee debate.

The Commission on Presidential Debates said Lehrer would moderate the first debate Sept. 30 at the U. of Miami in Coral Gables. Lehrer is anchor and exec editor of “The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer” on PBS.

President Bush and Democratic presidential opponent John Kerry will next square off Oct. 8 at Washington U. in St Louis. That debate will be moderated by Gibson, co-anchor of ABC News’ “Good Morning America.”

Schieffer, host of CBS News’ “Face the Nation,” will moderate the third debate Oct. 13 at Arizona State U. in Tempe.

The debate between Vice President Dick Cheney and Democratic VP candidate John Edwards will be held Oct. 5 at Case Western Reserve U. in Cleveland. Moderator Ifill is a correspondent on “NewsHour.”

In the first and third debates, as well as the vice presidential debate, the candidates will sit at a table with the moderator.

The second presidential debate will be a town hall meeting, with questions posed to Kerry and Bush by undecided voters selected by the Gallup Organization.

The commission has not yet announced which news org will carry which debate. Each will last 90 minutes, with two-minute closing statements. First debate will focus primarily on domestic issues and the third on foreign policy.

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