Tonight at 9 pm (Wed., July 11, 2012), PBS Hawaii will carry KITV's debate with the leading candidates for Honolulu Mayor. What gives? Well, we're airing a commercial TV station's program because we want more viewers/voters to see the debate. It's in the public interest.
KITV is blacked out on cable television, the result of broken negotiations between its parent company, Hearst, and Time Warner. So statewide broadcasters are stepping up to offer the program on their cable channels. Hawaii News Now's three stations will air the KITV debate live, from 7 to 8:30 pm.
Because PBS Hawaii's mission as a public broadcaster is to serve as an alternative to commercial media, we're electing to air the KITV debate on a tape-delayed basis. In a later primetime setting, the debate will be accessible to even more people.
For the debate, Civil Beat is fielding a reporter, Chad Blair, to pose questions with KITV journalists Cathy Cruz and Andrew Pereira. News anchor Paula Akana will serve as moderator. The candidates, incumbent Peter Carlisle and challengers Kirk Caldwell and Ben Cayetano, will also be given the opportunity to question each other.
I hear the candidates will be standing quite close to each other. With former Gov. Cayetano very displeased with former Acting Mayor Caldwell for criticizing him on a campaign finances matter (see my previous blog entry), it'll be interesting to watch the body language when Cayetano questions Caldwell.
Meanwhile, Oceanic Time Warner has replaced KITV programming with Hallmark dramas.