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Gorbachev, Yeltsin Set for ABC Broadcast

Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and Russian Federation President Boris Yeltsin will appear together on ABC-TV Monday from Moscow to answer questions from American viewers in a live town meeting format, the network said Wednesday.

“We decided to go after the big guys, and they said yes,” said Joanna Bistany, vice president of ABC News. “When we came forward with the town meeting idea, they liked it.”

ABC spokeswoman Laura Wessner said that anchor Peter Jennings will moderate the broadcast, which will run at least an hour but is open-ended, from New York.

An exact time for the broadcast has not been set on either the East Coast or West Coast, but it will air sometime following ABC’s “Monday Night Football” game between the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers, Wessner said. The program will appear in ABC’s usual “Nightline” slot.

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Wessner said there will be “live audiences in a number of cities around the United States,” which are yet to be determined: “People will be able to pose questions to the Soviet leaders.”

She said the broadcast will also be shown in prime time in the Soviet Union.


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