Organizers name TV journalists to moderate U.S. presidential debates
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Republican U.S. Presidential candidate Donald Trump shakes hands with CNN anchor Anderson Cooper at the CNN Town Hall at Riverside Theater in Milwaukee, Wisconsin March 29, 2016. REUTERS/Ben Brewer
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Journalists from NBC, ABC, CNN and Fox News will moderate the three scheduled debates between U.S. presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump ahead of the Nov. 8 election, the nonpartisan group organizing the events said on Friday.
NBC anchor Lester Holt will ask questions at the first debate on Sept. 26 in New York, while ABC global affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz and CNN anchor Anderson Cooper will co-moderate the Oct. 9 "town meeting" style debate in St. Louis, the Commission on Presidential Debates said.
Fox News anchor Chris Wallace will moderate on Oct. 19 in Las Vegas, it said in a statement.
CBS journalist Elaine Quijano will moderate the single vice presidential debate on Oct. 4 between Republican Indiana Governor Mike Pence and his Democratic rival, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia, the commission said.
C-SPAN's Steve Scully will be a back-up moderator for all four of the debates, it added.
Trump, the Republican candidate, has said he will take part in the three debates but wants to see the conditions. Representatives for the Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday's announcement.
The New York businessman, who has never held elected office, has had repeated run-ins with the media since launching his campaign last year, charging networks like CNN with "phony reporting," sparring with MSNBC hosts and insulting Fox News journalist Megyn Kelly. His campaign has also black-listed several reporters and news outlets.
Clinton, the Democratic candidate, has said she will participate in all three debates as scheduled.
Separately, NBC has said Trump and Clinton will participate in a "commander-in-chief" forum focused on military issues on Sept. 7 in New York, appearing separately.
On Friday, Trump's son Eric raised questions about ties between the anchor for that event, Matt Lauer, and the Clinton Foundation and said NBC and its cable offshoot MSNBC have been against his father.
"Obviously, there's a lot of speculation because of his involvement with the foundation," Eric Trump told Fox News in an interview. "I hope he'll be fair."
Representatives for NBC said Lauer was not a member of the foundation and that he had interviewed former President Bill Clinton for the network's "Today" show, not on behalf of the foundation.
Trump's reality television show, "The Apprentice," debuted on NBC in 2004. NBC later cut other ties with the businessman, dropping his "Miss USA" and "Miss Universe" pageants, and Trump sued.
NBC is a unit of Comcast Corp.. Fox News is part of the Twenty-First Century Fox Inc, ABC News is owned by Walt Disney Co, while Time Warner Inc owns CNN. CBS Corp is also publicly traded.
(Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Frances Kerry)
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