“Fox News Sunday” anchor Chris Wallace has been selected to moderate the first presidential debate between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, the non-partisan Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) announced Wednesday.
Wallace will moderate the first debate, which is scheduled to take place Tuesday, Sept. 29 in Cleveland.
Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott celebrated the announcement in an email to staffers on Wednesday.
“Revered as the gold standard in journalism, Chris has the innate ability to cut to the heart of issues that matter most to viewers while holding his interview subjects accountable to the facts like no other journalist in the industry. His debate moderator performance in 2016 was truly masterful and we are beyond excited to watch him brilliantly perform his craft once again,” Scott wrote.
“The selection of Chris today and his already legendary debate moderating performances are an immensely proud distinction for FOX News Media and are among the greatest moments in our near 24-year history,” Scott added. “Please join me in congratulating our friend and colleague on this amazing accomplishment and celebrating another great day for FOX News Media. This is yet another example of why we are the best in the business.”
USA Today Washington bureau chief Susan Page will moderate the vice presidential debate in Salt Lake City Oct. 7, C-SPAN Senior Executive Producer & Political Editor Steve Scully will moderate the second Trump-Biden debate Oct. 15 in Miami, and NBC News White House correspondent Kristen Welker will moderate the third presidential debate Oct. 22 in Nashville.
Wallace won widespread praise for his performance moderating the third debate between Trump and Hillary Clinton in 2016. That was the first time a Fox News anchor had been selected to moderate a general election debate.
“We are grateful to these experienced journalists, who will help ensure that the general election presidential debates continue to serve their unique educational purpose of helping the public learn about the candidates. Each individual brings great professionalism to moderating and understands that the purpose of the 2020 debate formats is to facilitate in-depth discussion of major topics,” CPD co-chairs Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr., Dorothy S. Ridings and Kenneth Wollack said in a statement.
The first debate will be divided into six segments of approximately 15 minutes each, on major topics to be selected by Wallace himself and announced at least one week before the debate, the CPD announced.
The “Fox News Sunday” anchor will open each segment with a question and each candidate will have two minutes to respond, the organizers said. Trump and Biden then would have a chance to respond to each other, while Wallace can use any remaining time to ask the candidates to elaborate on the subject.
Wallace, who also has co-moderated multiple primary debates, has won every major broadcast news award during his storied career. He has received three Emmy Awards, the Dupont-Columbia Silver Baton and the Peabody Award, among many others.
Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.