The Republican National Committee has made good on its promise to cut NBC out of its primary debate schedule.
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus issued a statement late Monday announcing the cancellation of a partnership with NBC, which was set to carry a primary debate from Houston on Feb. 26. The event will now be staged one night earlier by CNN.
CNBC is owned by NBCUniversal but operates separately from NBC News.
The RNC said NBC’s Spanish-language network Telemundo, the conservative journal National Review and radio group Salem Communications will remain as partners in the debate, which was moved to Feb. 25 to take advantage of higher TV usage levels on Thursday nights.
NBC News declined comment Monday, including any word as to whether Telemundo will still broadcast the debate now that it will be produced by CNN.
But the GOP ratings juggernaut shows signs of slowing. The Jan. 14 debate on the Fox Business Network averaged 11 million viewers, down from the 13.5 million the candidates delivered for the channel on Nov. 10. It was the smallest audience yet for the Republicans.
The next Republican primary debate is scheduled for Jan. 28 on Fox News Channel, which pulled 24 million viewers with the candidates back on Aug. 6.