UPDATE: This story was updated at 5:41 pm to reflect that KRWG-TV has partnered with KOB-TV to bring the debate to a television audience in Las Cruces.
LAS CRUCES – Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham and Republican Mark Ronchetti will face off Friday night in the first of two televised debates ahead of the Nov. 8 election. However, residents of Las Cruces — the state’s second-largest city — will not be able to watch it live on their televisions.
That’s because Las Cruces is in the El Paso media market. Designated market areas, or DMAs, are determined by the Nielsen Company and impact the cost of advertising in a specific area. While nearly all of New Mexico (as well as Durango, Colorado, and parts of Arizona in the four corners region) are in the Albuquerque/Santa Fe DMA, Doña Ana County is not. That is why Doña Ana County residents get El Paso news broadcasts.
Friday night’s hourlong debate, which begins at 7 pm, will be broadcast live on KOB-TV, Albuquerque’s NBC affiliate. Doña Ana County residents who want to watch can see it later on KRWG-TV, the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) channel broadcast from New Mexico State University. This is according to the station’s General Manager, Adrian Velarde, who said they had partnered with KOB to bring it to a Doña Ana County audience. The debate will air in its entirety at 7 pm Thursday, Oct. 8, on KRWG.
It can also be streamed live on KOB’s website, www.kob.com.
The third gubernatorial candidate appearing on this year’s general election ballot, Libertarian Karen Bedonie, will not participate in the televised debates because she fell short of meeting the networks’ established criteria, according to the Albuquerque Journal.
The second debate will take place at 6:30 pm Wednesday, Oct. 12, on KOAT TV.
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Damien Willis is a Lead Reporter for the Las Cruces Sun News. He can be reached at 575-541-5443, [email protected] or @DamienWillis on Twitter.