Lehrer, Schieffer, Crowley to moderate presidential debates

CNN reporter will be first female moderator since 1992

Journo honchos Jim Lehrer of PBS, Bob Schieffer of CBS and Candy Crowley of CNN are slated to moderate this fall’s presidential debates, with Crowley serving as the first female moderator since Carole Simpson in 1992.

Lehrer, former anchor of “PBS NewsHour,” has been a mainstay on the presidential debate circuit. The Oct. 3 debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney will be Lehrer’s 12th debate moderation. “State of the Union” host Crowley will moderate the Oct. 16 debate, and “Face the Nation’s” Schieffer will moderate the final Obama-Romney debate on Oct. 22. Both Lehrer and Schieffer moderated debates between 2008 presidential candidates Obama and John McCain.

The dearth of female moderators has led to criticism of the Commission on Presidential Debates, including Change.org petitions that garnered more than 100,000 signatures. While Crowley’s appointment as debate moderator is seen as a triumph for femme journos, some have noted the debate Crowley has been assigned to. Oct. 16’s presidential debate will be the only townhall-style debate where citizens will ask candidates questions instead of the more traditional debate format where a moderator lobs questions at the presidential hopefuls.

Martha Raddatz, senior foreign affairs correspondent for ABC, will moderate the vice presidential debate on Oct. 11 with a traditional format.