Republican gubernatorial candidates Mark Neumann and Scott Walker will participate in a ground-breaking 60-minute, commercial-free, town hall meeting originating from Eckstein Hall, the new Marquette University Law School building. It will be broadcast statewide on Wed., Aug. 25, from 7 to 8 p.m., by an innovative media collaboration led by WISN 12, the ABC affiliate in Milwaukee, with its co-production partner, Milwaukee Public Television (MPTV).
“12 News UPFRONT” Anchor, Mike Gousha, a Distinguished Fellow in Law and Public Policy at Marquette University Law School, will moderate this first-of-its-kind Wisconsin event. “We’ve designed a format to engage viewers in a conversation with the candidates that we hope will move far beyond talking points to an in-depth discussion of the issues facing our state,” notes Gousha.
Gousha will lead a roundtable discussion with the candidates followed by live questioning from citizen groups participating at remote locations throughout Wisconsin.
“This extraordinary collaborative effort helps us keep our ‘Commitment 2010’ promise to bring the viewers and voters of Wisconsin responsible, respectful, intelligent, and relevant political coverage,” says Jan Wade, president and general manager at WISN 12.
“As an institution committed to the examination of important law and public policy issues, we are pleased that Eckstein Hall, our new law school building with state-ofthe- art media facilities, will be the site for this innovative form of civic dialogue,” comments Joseph D. Kearney, dean of Marquette University Law School. “We look forward to hosting this series of meetings for gubernatorial and U.S. Senate candidates during the primary and general election season.”
WISN 12 will simulcast the series with Milwaukee Public Television (WMVS/WMVT) and broadcast across the state on WKOW (Madison), WFRV (Green Bay), WAOW (Wausau), WXOW (La Crosse), and WQOW (Eau Claire), all of whom carry the award-winning weekly public affairs show, “12 News UPFRONT with Mike Gousha.”
“By pooling our individual station resources with those of WisPolitics.com, and our radio partners, we can essentially provide statewide political coverage of the state’s biggest election contests,” says Tom Allen, vice president of Quincy Broadcasting Co., whose Wisconsin stations are partners in the project.
“We can also give the staid political debate genre a new and refreshing twist — bringing candidates face to face with intelligent, engaged citizens who have identified unique local concerns,” says Ellis Bromberg, MPTV general manager.
WISN 12 News Anchor Kathy Mykleby and MPTV “Interchange” Host Dan Jones will play key roles with the citizen group recruited for the Milwaukee audience, by handling on-air, on-line, and mobile coverage efforts.
“Our journalists are passionate about providing political coverage that is balanced and meaningful,” says Lori Waldon, WISN 12 news director. “They are spearheading this effort to engage voters–young and old– in a thoughtful, yet lively and live-wire discussion of today’s most important issues, and that benefits every community across our state.”
“As an editorial partner in the production of ‘Upfront with Mike Gousha,’ we are committed to advancing the open marketplace of ideas in support of our obligations to inform the public,” says Jeff Mayers, president of WisPolitics. com. “Live streaming this series of Town Hall Meetings is our investment in the citizens of Wisconsin.”
The “UPFRONT Town Hall Challenge” on Aug. 25 will help voters decide which gubernatorial candidate will get their vote in Wisconsin’s primary election on Tuesday, Sept. 14.
Post primary town hall meetings, which will also take place at Marquette University Law School, are planned for the U.S. Senate and gubernatorial candidates facing off in the Nov. 2 General Election. The broadcasts will follow the same format without commercial interruption, only they will be 90-minutes in length. Those meetings are scheduled for Oct. 15 and Oct. 22, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.