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WSIU, Illinois Public Media to Host Gubernatorial Debates

For Immediate Release
Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Contacts:  Jak Tichenor, WSIU-TV, (618) 453-6187,; John Paul, WILL-TV/Illinois Public Media, (217) 333-7300,

Carbondale, Illinois - WSIU Public Broadcasting, the public media arm of Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC), and WILL-TV/Illinois Public Media, Champaign-Urbana, are teaming up to present Republican and Democratic debates for candidates in the February 2 Illinois gubernatorial primary.

Republican candidates will meet in the WILL-TV studio at 8pm on Thursday, January 14, while Democrats face off at WSIU-TV in Carbondale on Thursday, January 21, also at 8pm. The debates will be distributed to public television and public radio stations statewide by the Illinois Public Broadcasting Council.

WSIU-TV and WILL-TV will carry both debates live, as will WSIU Radio and WILL-AM. WSIU Radio and WILL-AM also will stream the debates live at and, respectively. WSIU-TV will feature repeat broadcasts of the debates, with the Republican gubernatorial debate airing a second time on Sunday, January 17 at 6pm and the Democratic debate repeating on Sunday, January 24, also at 6pm.

All the candidates have agreed or tentatively agreed to participate. Republican candidates are Adam Andrzejewski, state Senator Bill Brady, State Senator Kirk Dillard, Andy McKenna, Dan Proft, Jim Ryan, and Bob Schillerstrom. WILL-TV's John Paul will moderate the Republican debate.

Democratic candidates include Governor Pat Quinn, Comptroller Dan Hynes, Ed Scanlan (pending ballot objections), and William "Dock" Walls (pending ballot objections). WSIU-TV's Jak Tichenor will serve as the debate moderator.

WSIU and WILL are producing the debates in collaboration with the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at SIUC and the University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs.

Paul said the overriding issue for the debates is likely to be the state's budget situation. "I'm sure many of the questions will deal with the state's fiscal crisis, how it can be resolved, and whether tax increases are necessary," he said.

Tichenor said, "No leader in state history will be tested like the next governor of Illinois in the next four years. These debates are critically important for Illinois voters to make an informed decision when they go to the polls.

About WSIU
WSIU Public Broadcasting is licensed to the Board of Trustees of Southern Illinois University and is an integral part of the College of Mass Communication & Media Arts on the Carbondale campus. It operates eight digital public television channels, three public radio stations, a website, local TV and FM production units, and an education and community outreach department - reaching over one million households. WSIU's mission is to improve the quality of life of the people they serve. The WSIU stations partner with other community organizations to promote positive change and to support the academic and public service missions of Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Visit for more information.

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