Greater Montana Foundation and Montana Broadcasters Association to Co-sponsor debates for Gubernatorial Candidates

May 1st, 2020

Ron Davis, Chair, Greater Montana Foundation and Greg Pace, Chair, Montana Broadcasters Association, announced today that the two groups will hold debates for the Democratic and Republican candidates for Governor, on Saturday, May 2. There will be two 60 minutes debates, one for each party.

Originally scheduled to take place at the MTN Studios in Great Falls, they will now take place virtually, with all participants in separate locations around the state. Broadcasts will not be live, local stations will need to be checked for dates and times. Stations have been requested to not broadcast earlier than 6:00 pm that evening. Greater Montana Foundation is providing funding for the debates.

Davis and Pace said, “We are pleased to jointly sponsor these important debates, which are even more significant at this time, since candidates are not able to get out around the state meeting Montana voters. While keeping all safe, we will provide a real service to the Montana public by allowing candidates to showcase their backgrounds, policies and programs.

Those participating are Democratic candidates Lt. Governor Mike Cooney and businesswomen Whitney Williams, and Republican candidates, US Representative Greg Gianforte, Attorney General Tim Fox and Montana State Senator Al Olszewski.

Ron Davis, GMF Board Chair and President of Butte Broadcasting will serve as moderator. Panelists are Mike Dennison, Montana Television Network; Cyndny Koures, NBC Montana; and Taylor Tucker, Cowles Media. Questions will not be available in advance nor solicited from the public. Panelists will decide on the questions.

Panelists’ backgrounds:

Mike Dennison, the chief political reporter for the Montana Television Network, based in Helena. He has been covering politics full-time in Montana for 28 years, with MTN, and earlier as a news reporter. Cyndy Koures is Assistant News Director at NBC Montana. A 5th generation Montanan, she earlier spent most of her career in Spokane, in a variety of positions with KXLY TV and AM, garnering a number of awards.

Taylor Tucker is an award-winning anchor, reporter and producer at KFBB in Great Falls, Montana. Before moving from Wisconsin to Montana in 2015, she worked as an intern at the Center for Investigative Journalism and in other positions. She covers everyday issues for Montanans.

Davis and Pace encouraged all Montanans to take advantage of this opportunity to safely view debates among the candidates of both parties.

In conclusion, Davis noted the Greater Montana Foundation and the Montana Broadcasters Association have a longtime relationship, partnering on the annual “EB” awards for excellence in broadcasting, named for GMF founder Edmund B. Craney, as well as on candidates’ debates at the MBA annual meeting. A pioneer broadcaster, Craney established the foundation in 1958 with an initial focus on improving commercial broadcasting in the state. That focus has expanded to include a mission of “encouraging communications, with an emphasis on electronic media, on issues, trends and values of importance to present and future generations of Montanans, ” with grants awarded to the University o of Montana Radio and TV school, Montana PBS, Montana NPR and a wide variety of documentaries, films, broadcasts and podcasts.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATON:

Candidates for Governor will debate May 2. Co-sponsored by Greater Montana Foundation and the Montana Broadcasters Association, the debates were scheduled for the MTN studio in Great Falls. Now they will be virtual and broadcast on different stations. So far as we know, these stations will broadcast on Saturday, May 2, 6-8 pm o'clock.

MTN Stations: • KTVQ – Billings, Montana.
• KRTV – Great Falls, Montana. KXLH-LD – Helena, Montana.
• KXLF – Butte, Montana. KBZK – Bozeman, Montana.
• KPAX – Missoula, Montana. KAJJ-CD – Kalispell, Montana.
NBC Montana in Missoula, Kalispell, Butte and Bozeman will also be broadcasting Saturday from 6pm-8pm as will many radio stations across the State.

Check with your local stations!

Education Grants

The Greater Montana Foundation is now offering new education assistance grants to individual Montana news media professionals and journalism students to strengthen their ability to report more effectively on issues of jobs and the economy. The $500 per person grants are for any course related to these issues, whether on-line or in-person, at any of the state’s post-secondary institutions.

General Grants

General grants are available for nonprofits and others: for film, TV programs, documentaries, videos, webinars, etc. with applications due annually on April 1 and awards made in June.

Commercial Grants

A major goal for GMF’s founder, Ed Craney was to improve commercial broadcasting in the state. There is no deadline for grant applications from commercial stations if you can demonstrate that this is an urgent and critical issue & production is time-limited