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XM to Preview Presidential Election Channel with Summer Debates


XM Satellite Radio today announced that it will preview its upcoming radio channel dedicated to the 2008 presidential election, “P.O.T.U.S. ’08,” by airing presidential debates held across the country this summer. The commercial-free, nonpartisan radio channel will officially launch in September with 24-hour coverage of the presidential campaign. XM will preview “P.O.T.U.S. ’08” (XM channel 130) during the summer months with the following debates:

• The June 28 edition of “All American Presidential Forums on PBS,” featuring the Democratic presidential candidates, hosted by Tavis Smiley at Howard University in Washington, D.C., and carried on XM through its partnership with Public Radio International. XM also plans to carry the PBS forum for Republican presidential candidates on September 27.

• The first CNN/You Tube debate, featuring the Democratic candidates in Charleston, South Carolina, on July 23. Candidates will answer questions submitted via YouTube videos. The CNN political team will choose the most creative and compelling videos sent to the YouTube web site. Hosted by Anderson Cooper, the debate will air live on CNN, as well as XM’s CNN channel (XM channel 133), and it will replay for 24 hours on “P.O.T.U.S. ’08.” XM will also air the CNN/You Tube Republican debate on September 17.

• Presidential debates hosted by ABC News, featuring the Republican candidates on August 5 and the Democratic candidates on August 19. Both debates will be held in Des Moines, Iowa. Iowa will hold the first presidential caucus in January.

• The AFL-CIO’s town hall forum for Democratic candidates in Chicago on August 7.

The “P.O.T.U.S. ’08” channel marks the first time that a national radio channel has been devoted to a presidential campaign. The channel’s name (pronounced POH-tus) comes from the acronym used by government officials for the President of the United States.

XM, the nation’s leading satellite radio company with more than 8 million customers, is heard across the U.S. on satellite radios for the car, home, and portable use.

The “P.O.T.U.S. ’08” channel will be “free to air” on XM, meaning that it will be broadcast free to all XM radio receivers. If a consumer has an XM radio, but decides not to subscribe to XM, the consumer can still listen to the presidential election channel.

When “P.O.T.U.S. ‘08” formally launches in September, the channel will air news updates, candidate interviews, complete speeches, debate coverage, polling results, fundraising reports, and live call-in shows. The channel will provide free airtime for presidential candidates to speak to voters. Non-traditional media outlets, such as bloggers and podcasters, will provide content for the channel. It will also air archival audio of historic moments from past campaigns, tapping the rich political archive of C-SPAN, a major partner in producing the XM channel. Additional content will be announced prior to launch.

“P.O.T.U.S. ‘08” will air on XM through November 2008, when U.S. voters go to the polls to elect the nation’s 44th president. The channel is the latest in a series of temporary XM channels devoted to special programming. These “microchannels” on XM have included Red Cross Radio, which provided daily information to Red Cross workers in the weeks following Hurricane Katrina. “POTUS ‘08” is the most ambitious microchannel on XM to date, and the first devoted to a major news event.


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