Wednesday, Jun 20, 2018
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Bell, Collins to spar in a televised debate

Blade, WTVG to question candidates today


Challenger and City Council-man D. Michael Collins, left, and Toledo Mayor Mike Bell will square off in a televised debate scheduled for 7 p.m. today.


Editor's note: Wednesday's debate produced by WTOL-TV will not be part of the Buckeye CableSystem debate marathon scheduled to run on Cable Channel 69 on Saturday at noon.

Toledo’s mayoral candidates will face each other in a debate televised live today at 7 p.m. on WTVG-TV, Channel 13, and co-sponsored by The Blade.

Incumbent Mayor Mike Bell and Councilman D. Michael Collins, both political independents, are competing in the Nov. 5 general election.

The questioners will be Blade staff writers Tom Troy and Marlene Harris-Taylor and WTVG news anchors Bill Hormann and Lee Conklin. WTVG anchor Diane Larson will moderate the debate.

Today’s debate will be rebroadcast by Buckeye CableSystem on Cable Channel 69 along with several other mayoral debates that have been recorded by Buckeye in a marathon starting at noon Saturday, according to Brad Mefferd, chief administrative officer for Buckeye. However, debates produced by WTOL-TV will not be a part of the Saturday broadcast. Buckeye CableSystem is a sister company of The Blade, and both are owned by Block Communications Inc. The debate will also be available on Buckeye’s Video on Demand service, which can be reached by digital cable subscribers at Buckeye Channel 1 or by opening the menu and selecting News and Information.

The debate will be staged in the studio of WGTE-TV, Channel 30, but is not open to the public.

Brian Trauring, executive news director of WTVG, said the format allows viewers to evaluate the candidates’ positions on issues as well as how they perform under pressure.

“Subtle or unexpected things that happen can have an effect on the outcome of the election,” Mr. Trauring said. “You can practice and prepare but you never really know what could come up that will leave a lasting impression. It really is a high-stakes poker game.”

This will be WTVG’s and The Blade’s second live debate of this election season. The four leading primary candidates debated on Sept. 4.

WTOL-TV will produce the second live televised debate of the week on Wednesday, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Fox Toledo Channel 36, according to WTOL News Director C.J. Hoyt. He said the scheduling was designed to avoid having to pre-empt the start of World Series programming at 7:30 p.m.

Contact Tom Troy: or 419--724-6058 or an Twitter @TomFTroy.

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