Sorry ABC, CBS and CNN, there’s a new player in the political primary debate fray.
NewsNation, the upstart cable news channel owned by local TV giant Nexstar, will host the fourth Republican primary debate next month.
The debate, which will also air on the Nexstar-owned CW network, will be moderated by NewsNation anchor Elizabeth Vargas, as well as SiriusXM host (and former Fox News primetime star) Megyn Kelly, as well as The Washington Free Beacon’s Eliana Johnson.
The debate will be held Dec. 6 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and will also stream on NewsNation’s website, the conservative video platform Rumble, and on SiriusXM.
The debate is a coup for Nexstar, which has been trying to grow NewsNation as an “unbiased” alternative to the other cable news channels. It’s also a big win for Vargas, the former ABC News anchor who joined NewsNation earlier this year, and for Kelly, who recently reupped with SiriusXM.
Kelly, of course, served as moderator for the most-watched presidential primary debate in history when Fox News hosted its first debate of the 2016 election cycle. That debate, watched by 24 million viewers, introduced Donald Trump the politician to the debate stage.
It is not clear whether Trump, who has skipped all of this year’s debates so far, would join NewsNation’s, although Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel told CNN after last night’s debate that she wasn’t expecting the former President to participate.
The debate also means that The CW and NewsNation will get a debate before the likes of ABC News, CBS News and CNN, with Fox News hosting two of the first three debates, and NBC News hosting the latest debate Wednesday evening.
“All of us at NewsNation are incredibly honored to be hosting a presidential primary debate and to be part of what will be another historic election season,” said Sean Compton, Nexstar’s President of Networks, in a statement. “We are also extremely pleased to have the opportunity to introduce more Americans to NewsNation, a 24-hour national news network committed to delivering outstanding journalism and first-rate political coverage and analysis.”