LSU’s Manship School to Host 2019 Gubernatorial Debate in Partnership with Nexstar Media Group, Inc.

Sept. 3, 2019

Baton Rouge, LA – The LSU Manship School of Mass Communication’s Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs is collaborating with Nexstar Media Group, home to Baton Rouge’s WVLA NBC 33 and WGMB Fox 44, to host Louisiana’s first 2019 gubernatorial debate. Incumbent Democrat John Bel Edwards and Republican challengers Ralph Abraham and Eddie Rispone have confirmed their participation in the debate, which will take place in LSU’s Student Union Theatre on Thursday, Sept. 19 at 7 p.m.

The debate will be broadcast live on Nexstar’s television stations and web sites in Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Shreveport, Monroe and Alexandria as well partner TV stations in New Orleans and Lake Charles. It will be simulcast on partner radio stations in each market as well.  Admission is free and open to the public. Registration is required no later than 5 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 12. Reserve a seat here.

WVLA anchor Fred Childers, a veteran political reporter, will moderate the debate alongside veteran anchors Chad Sabadie and Jackie Jovic. Sabadie is also an adjunct professor at LSU’s Manship School. Students from LSU’s Manship School will present questions on education, the economy, the state’s infrastructure and more with veteran journalists Childers, Sabadie and Jovic, who will also serve as panelists.

“Louisiana is the only Republican state with a Democratic incumbent running for re-election this cycle, so the eyes of politicos around the nation will be focused on Louisiana as a barometer for the 2020 presidential election,” Jenée Slocum, Ph.D., director of the Reilly Center, said.

“We are proud to partner with LSU’s Manship School and Reilly Center on Louisiana’s first gubernatorial debate this cycle. Nexstar is committed to delivering exceptional service to the local communities where we operate, including the great city Baton Rouge, and this event serves that mission by offering citizens across the state a focused look at the topics they care about most,” said Joe Spadea, WVLA/WGMB news director.

Media interested in attending the debate are welcome and should contact Spadea directly at to request credentials. The deadline for credential requests is Tuesday, Sept. 17 at 5 p.m. All media will pick up their credentials at the media table in the lobby of the Student Union Theater beginning at 4 p.m. on Sept. 19.

For security purposes, all guests must register with their legal name and present either the mobile or printed version of their ticket along with a valid photo ID to be allowed entrance. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and close at 6:30 p.m. No campaign signs or large printed materials will be allowed inside the Student Union Theatre.

Parking is available at the Union Square Garage, which can be accessed on East Campus Drive. LSU Ambassadors will be on site to direct guests to the appropriate entrance to the Student Union Theatre.

For more information, contact


The Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs is partnership-driven, action-oriented and dedicated to exploring contemporary issues at the intersection of mass communication and public life. Its interdisciplinary approach draws together experts from diverse fields to advance research and dialogue. The intent is to inspire our communities to think deeply, take action, develop solutions and broaden knowledge. Underlying the Center’s endeavors is to strengthen and advance the Manship School of Mass Communication’s national and state leadership in media and politics.

Nexstar Media Group is a leading diversified media company that leverages localism to bring new services and value to consumers and advertisers through its traditional media, digital and mobile media platforms. Nexstar owns, operates, programs or provides sales and other services to 174 full power television stations and related digital multicast signals reaching 100 markets or nearly 39% of all U.S. television households. Nexstar’s portfolio includes primary affiliates of NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, MyNetworkTV and The CW. Nexstar’s community portal websites offer additional hyper-local content and verticals for consumers and advertisers, allowing audiences to choose where, when and how they access content while creating new revenue opportunities.

Pro-forma for the completion of all announced transactions, Nexstar will own, operate, program or provide sales and other services to 197 television stations and their related low power and digital multicast signals reaching 115 markets or nearly 63% of all U.S. television households. For more information please visit