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Univision Plans Presidential Forum With Obama, Romney

Univision Communications Inc., the biggest U.S. Spanish-language broadcaster, will host “Meet the Candidate” forums, with separate events for Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, after being shut out of the presidential debates.

The candidates will take questions from an audience, moderators and Facebook Inc. users, the New York-based company said yesterday in an e-mail. The network will translate questions and answers for the candidates and the viewers. The schedule will be announced later.

Obama and Romney agreed to participate after Univision Chief Executive Officer Randy Falco released an Aug. 15 letter to the Commission on Presidential Debates protesting rejection of its news anchors to be among this year’s moderators.

“These events speak to President Obama and Governor Romney recognizing the important role Hispanic America will play in the elections and in defining the future of our country,” Univision News President Isaac Lee said in the statement.

The two forums, in partnership with Facebook, will be hosted by Univision News anchors Jorge Ramos and Maria Elena Salinas, closely held Univision said.

Univision was acquired in 2007 for $12.6 billion by Saban Capital Group Inc., Madison Dearborn Partners LLC, Providence Equity Partners Inc., TPG Capital and Thomas H. Lee Partners LP.

PBS’s Jim Lehrer, CNN’s Candy Crowley and CBS’s Bob Schieffer will each host a presidential debate, according to the website for the Commission on Presidential Debates. Martha Raddatz of ABC will moderate a debate between the vice presidential candidates.

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