NBC is facing backlash on Twitter and from staffers after booking Donald Trump for a town hall event on Thursday that will go head-to-head on-air with Joe Biden’s town hall with rival network ABC.
Insiders told Page Six the last-minute decision is causing “a great deal of internal consternation” at NBC. “People saw the backlash coming, and bosses went ahead with the scheduling anyway because they thought it would get the best ratings,” an insider told Page Six.
Last week, ABC booked Biden for Oct. 15, originally the date of the second presidential debate, which was canceled after Trump tested positive for COVID-19 and refused to participate in a virtual format. Then on Wednesday, NBC announced their presidential get, with “Today” anchor Savannah Guthrie moderating outdoors in Miami.
But NBC is pushing back on claims that the Trump town hall is an aggressive ratings ploy. “Ratings were the last on a long list of concerns after public health and [NBC’s] public responsibility to inform viewers. The event is taking place on Thursday because that night is available for both candidates, and NBC offered 8 p.m. because it’s the same time slot that was offered to Joe Biden last week,” a rep said.
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