NBC News refused to move its forthcoming town hall with President Donald Trump Thursday in the face of criticism. The event drew condemnation for being planned at the same time as ABC News’ Thursday night town hall with Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
“We share in the frustration that our event will initially air alongside the first half of ABC’s broadcast with Vice President Biden. Our decision is motivated only by fairness, not business considerations. We aired a town hall with Vice President Biden on October 5 at 8pm. If we were to move our town hall with President Trump to a later timeslot we would be violating our commitment to offer both campaigns access to the same audience and the same forum. We hope voters will watch both discussions – ours will be available at any time, free and on-demand on YouTube, Peacock and all our digital news platforms,” said Cesar Conde, chairman of NBCU News Group in a statement.
ABC News was surprised by its competitor’s Wednesday announcement, an insider told TheWrap.
NBC News defended its decision on the timing Wednesday, too, with an executive telling TheWrap the network is following the same exact plan — including the format, duration and time slot — it did for Biden one week ago.
“The Trump campaign did not dictate or request the time slot, nor express any preference,” an NBC News spokesperson told TheWrap Wednesday.