Media partners join forces to produce live Hawley-McCaskill debate and broadcast
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ST. LOUIS – Three media organizations partnered across broadcast mediums and formats to bring together for Missouri voters the candidates from one of the most-watched political races in the country. 5 On Your Side, the Nine Network of Public Media, and St. Louis Public Radio hosted the debate between Republican Josh Hawley and Democrat Claire McCaskill, candidates for U.S. Senate.

The debate took place on Thursday, Oct. 18 before a live audience of 100 Missourians at the Nine Network’s studio in St. Louis; NPR- and PBS-member stations and NBC affiliates throughout Missouri carried the live broadcast. Journalists from across the state and country reported from the debate and national and international media, including The New York Times, U.S. News and World Report, Slate Magazine, and The Washington Post, covered the debate.

The debate was moderated by PBS NewsHour’s Judy Woodruff, with prepared questions from Mike Bush, 5 On Your Side, and Jo Mannies, St. Louis Public Radio. Nine Network’s Ruth Ezell fielded questions from the audience.

“I was so impressed by the members of our diverse community who made up the studio audience,” said Ruth Ezell, Nine Network producer. “Their insightful questions reflected the broad range of issues that matter to Missouri voters. They also demonstrated how people with differing views can respectfully convene at a critical moment for the state and the nation.”

A public watch party was held in the Public Media Commons, between the Nine Network and St. Louis Public Radio, and was attended by approximately 250 people. 5 On Your Side’s Casey Nolen and St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum got real-time audience perspective and hosted a post-debate analysis show.

"We're proud to have worked with our partners at the Nine Network and 5 On Your Side,” said St. Louis Public Radio General Manager Tim Eby, “to provide an opportunity for Missourians to better understand where these two candidates stand on a variety of important issues. Our team at St. Louis Public Radio will continue to focus on providing in-depth coverage of the candidates and the issues over the next few weeks as we approach election day."

During the debate the candidates sparred over how they would improve health care, the federal budget deficit and more. Full context and analysis are available at Nine Network will rebroadcast the debate and post-debate show at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 21.

“Nine and our partners performed an important public service by bringing the Missouri Senate race to the citizens of Missouri,” said Nine Network Senior Vice President of Engagement and Content Amy Shaw. “The questions from the audience in our studio let the candidates know what’s on the community’s mind.”

“Given the national attention of this particular senate race, it was our sincere privilege to help facilitate Missouri’s first public U.S. Senate debate for our community and our partners statewide,” said Alicia Elsner, President & General Manager of 5 On Your Side.

Follow #MOSenateDebate for social media reactions.

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About the Nine Network of Public Media
The Nine Network of Public Media is a multifaceted organization creating a network of individuals and organizations empowered by public media to strengthen civic life. One of the nation’s most watched public television stations, Nine Network offers the people of the St. Louis region multiple ways to explore the world and become engaged in civic life. Nine’s platforms include four distinct broadcast channels (Nine PBS, Nine World, Nine Create and Nine PBS KIDS), the Nine Center for Public Engagement, the Public Media Commons, social media, and multiple websites accessible at Nine Network’s rich legacy of serving the community was launched in 1954 and continues through our vision of a strong and healthy community working together through public media and our mission of igniting the spirit of possibility.

About St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Public Radio is an award-winning news organization and NPR-member station, providing in-depth news, insightful discussion and entertaining programs to half-a-million people per month on-air and online. With the largest radio or TV newsroom in St. Louis, our journalists find and tell important stories about communities across the region and help people to become deeply informed about the issues that affect their lives. We broadcast on 90.7 KWMU FM in St. Louis, 90.3 WQUB in Quincy, Illinois, 88.5 KMST in Rolla and 96.3 K242AN in Lebanon, Missouri, and share news and music online at We are a member-supported service of the University of Missouri - St. Louis.

For more information contact:
Alicia Elsner 314-444-5256, 5 On Your Side
Amy Shaw, 314-808-1045, Nine Network of Public Media
Madalyn Painter, 314-516-6617, St. Louis Public Radio