Election 2000

A. INTRODUCTION. "Election 2000" is a major public service initiative by Colorado Public Broadcasting KBDI/TV-12 and USA Talk Network for the 2000 General Election. In an unprecedented move in the history of television in the United States -- which could become the focal point of pre-election coverage on the issues and candidates in Colorado and a national model for television in future elections, KBDI and USA-TN will produce and broadcast 10 hours of programming featuring the major issues and candidates on the Colorado ballot November 7th and will have the programs available to anyone via the World Wide Web.

The half-hour and hour-long programs will become the place where everyone involved in the political realm in Colorado will turn and where the public will have the opportunity to learn, on an in-depth basis, about the issues and candidates. It is believed this level of commitment to inform citizens about an election ballot has never been done before in Colorado or anywhere in the United States by any commercial or public television station. The ultimate goal is to create a model for other stations.

B. FORMAT. "Election 2000" will use the popular roundtable format of KBDI's program, "The Aaron Harber Show," moderated by the show's regular host, Aaron Harber. Each set of topics or guests will have a full one-half to one hour time period allotted so viewers will get more than the typical one-minute of exposure they might see elsewhere. There will be up to six guests on each program to ensure a wide range of representation from a broad spectrum of opinion. Media members may be included, where appropriate.

C. THE HOST. In addition to his radio and television broadcast work, Aaron Harber has been involved in politics from the local to the national level and is known as fair and objective. There is no journalist in Colorado who matches his direct, hands-on experience or his extensive understanding of the issues, the candidates, and the electorate. Harber has moderated many different and controversial public debates and is ideally suited for the program. He is appreciated for his fairness on "The Aaron Harber Show" and his ability to conduct shows in a non-partisan manner.

D. BROADCAST DATES AND TIMES. The original broadcast dates are right before the beginning of Early Voting and are timed to be on the air both when people are most interested and when the programming can have the greatest impact in terms of setting the tone for campaigns. All 10 hours will be broadcast in a special Prime Time block -- Mondays through Fridays (September 18th - 22nd and 25th - 29th) from 9:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Some programs are expected to be repeated based on the closeness of contests.

E. INTERNET ACCESS. Based on the timely receipt of sufficient funding, it is USA-TN's intent to make the programs available worldwide on a 24-hour a day basis via the Internet. Where possible, the original (i.e., first-time) broadcast actually may be via the Internet. [NOTE: The Denver Post made the programs available to everyone at no charge through its Web site - DenverPost.com.]

F. INTEREST. The series should attract extensive attention as it is a unique large-scale effort to provide unbiased information to voters and free access to television for campaigns. The Press will be invited to attend all of the tapings and the project will seek Media Sponsors. This is exactly the kind of effort everyone in politics and the Press has been discussing for decades. USA-TN and KBDI's endeavor is groundbreaking in Colorado and nationally, given the specific scope of this particular public service commitment.

G. BUDGET. The effort is being underwritten by KBDI and USA-TN, and several sponsors. [Sponsors included The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Johnson Communities (a national homebuilder); The Denver Post; The Merlin Foundation; The Bighorn Center For Public Policy; Mall TV, Inc.; Golden Run, LLC; Centre Entertainment, Inc.; and The Brett Family Foundation.]

H. CONTACTS. For further information on this historic marriage between Democracy and Television, please contact Aaron Harber at USA Talk Network or Dominic Dezzutti at Colorado Public Television KBDI - (303) 296-1212. Thank you!

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