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High Schoolers Call for Female Debate Moderator

At press time, three high School students from Montclair, N.J., had gotten more than 87,000 signatures on an online petition calling for a woman moderator at one of the three planned presidential debates.

The petition, at, was aimed at the Commission on Presidential Debates and points out that it has been two decades since a woman moderated a debate. "Moderators are chosen by the Commission on Presidential Debates, which is made up of three women out of seventeen commissioners," said the students in their petition. "20 years is way too long: we're encouraging the Commission to name at least one woman to moderate one of the three upcoming presidential debates between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama."

In 1992. ABC News' Carole Simpson moderated an Oct. 15 town hall debate between President George H.W. Bush, Ross Perot and Bill Clinton.

The Commission has set three presidential debates, for Oct. 3 at the University of Denver; Oct. 16 at Hofstra in Hempstead, N.Y.; and Oct. 22 at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla. Moderators will not be chosen until the summer, according to the Commission's Web site.

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.