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Audience Dropped for CNN Presidential Debate

Citing the coronavirus, CNN said there will be no audience for Sunday's Democratic presidential candidate debate.

The debate will be moderated from Washington by Jake Tapper.

It had been planned to be held in Arizona, but the Democratic National Committee (DNC) moved it to Washington Thursday (March 12).

Univision's Jorge Ramos had been scheduled to be one of the moderators, but according to CNN he may have been exposed to the virus--though he was not exhibiting symptoms--and so would step down, replaced by Ilia Calderón.

The debate is still set for 8-10 p.m.

"Both Mr. Ramos and the person he was in contact with are in good health and symptom free," Hinojosa said DNC communications director Xochitl Hinojosa. "Despite being cleared by medical professionals and out of an abundance of caution, Jorge has decided to step aside from participating in the upcoming March 15 Democratic debate."

John Eggerton
John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.