Fox Business Network and Univision will carry the next GOP presidential debate

Stuart Varney of Fox Business Network and Univision anchor Illa Calderón
Stuart Varney of Fox Business Network, left, and Univision anchor Ilia Calderón will moderate the next GOP presidential debate on Sept. 27.
(Richard Drew/Associated Press; Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

Fox Business Network will carry the next Republican presidential primary debate, but the channel’s longtime star anchor Maria Bartiromo won’t be a part of it.

Parent company Fox News Media announced Wednesday that Stuart Varney, a daytime anchor on the business network, will moderate the Sept. 27 event at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley alongside Univision anchor Ilia Calderón and Fox News host Dana Perino, of “The Five” and “America’s Newsroom.”

Dana Perino, Fox News co-host of "The Five" and "America's Newsroom."
(Michael Nagle/For The Times)

Former President Trump did not participate in the first GOP debate on Fox News held in Milwaukee on April 23, which scored a better-than-expected average of 12.8 million viewers, according to Nielsen, and was recognized by many in news media for helping to define the non-Trump GOP candidates.

There are no indications that Trump, who has a large lead in the polls, will appear at the September debate. The event will be carried on Fox Business Network, Fox News and the streaming service Fox Nation. A Spanish language feed will air on Univision.

Thompson, the third CNN head in two years, will be faced with the task of accelerating the cable network’s move into streaming video.

Aug. 29, 2023

Fox News did not comment on the absence of Bartiromo, who was co-moderator with anchor Neil Cavuto the last time Fox Business presented a primary debate in January 2016.

Bartiromo, who anchors the network’s daily “Mornings With Maria” and Fox News Channel’s political discussion program “Sunday Morning Futures,” had a prominent role in the defamation case against Fox filed by Dominion Voting Systems, which received a $787.5-million settlement.

Fox Business Network anchor Maria Bartiromo in 2020.
(Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

Dominion claimed it was damaged by numerous false statements made about voter fraud in the 2020 election on Fox News. Many of the claims pushed by former Trump were made on Bartiromo’s programs with little pushback by the anchor.


For the record:

8:50 a.m. Sept. 1, 2023An earlier version of this article misspelled Rudolph Giuliani’s first name as Rudolf.

Trump attorneys Sidney Powell and Rudolph W. Giuliani spread the debunked claims three times on Bartiromo’s Sunday program in the weeks that followed the election. (Powell, Guiliani and Trump have all been arrested in Georgia and charged with attempting to fraudulently overturn the election results in the state).

Fox News paid the massive landmark settlement to Dominion in April to avoid having its executives and on-air talent take the witness stand in a trial.

Evidence in the case revealed that Bartiromo believed Trump’s claims, despite Fox News’ own reporting that the allegations were false. Fox News executives were also concerned that Trump-supporting conspiracy theorists were getting Bartiromo’s attention and influencing her approach to the voter fraud story.

The host of ‘Sunday Morning Futures’ and morning host for Fox Business Network figures prominently in Dominion’s claims that the network lied about election fraud.

March 9, 2023

Bartiromo has remained in her roles on Fox News and Fox Business Network after the massive payout. Her appearance on the debate stage would at minimum become a distraction, especially as Trump continues to assert that the 2020 election was stolen.

Fox News faces another defamation suit over its election coverage, from voting machine company Smartmatic, and Bartiromo is a defendant in the suit.

Ilia Calderon
Ilia Calderon attends the 2023 TelevisaUnivision upfront in New York City in May.
(Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images)

Varney is politically conservative but has a reputation as a tough questioner willing to make Republican politicians squirm. He has been anchor of Fox Business Network’s “Varney & Co.” since 2007.

Calderón, who co-anchors Univision’s evening newscast, previously served as a moderator in a 2020 Democratic primary debate on CNN.

Perino is a former White House press secretary in the George W. Bush administration. She is a co-host on “The Five,” the most watched program in cable news.