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STRIKE COVERAGE: DNC Cancels Debate Due to Strike Uncertainty

The Democratic National Committee pulled the plug on its Dec. 10 debate in Los Angeles after top presidential candidates signaled that they would not cross a picket line in the event of a news-writers strike.

The Writers Guild of America members at CBS News voted last week to authorize a strike against the network.

"Due to the uncertainty created by the ongoing labor dispute between CBS and the Writers Guild of America," the DNC said, it has "canceled the Dec. 10 debate in Los Angeles."

There were no plans to reschedule, DNC communications director Karen Finney said.

"CBS News regrets not being able to offer the Democratic presidential debate scheduled for Dec. 10 in Los Angeles," the network said. "The possibility of picket lines set up by the Writers Guild of America and the unwillingness of many candidates to cross them made it necessary to allow the candidates to make other plans."

There had been some reports that the WGA was calling the strike to start Dec. 10 to coincide with the debate, but a WGA spokeswoman said that was not accurate and "no date has been chosen."

CBS News had planned to offer the debate live from 5 p.m.-6 p.m. (PST) and to stream it on its Web site. CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric was to moderate.

For full coverage of the strike, click here.

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.