The Herald and NECN Agree To Move Mayoral Debate Time

And just like that, everyone is saved from watching Rob Consalvo debate himself.

Well, it took a little more than 24 hours for the Boston Herald/Suffolk University/NECN consortium to fold.

As I wrote yesterday, that group announced yesterday a mayoral candidates debate from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, September 9—overlapping with a long-planned MassCreative “Create The Vote” candidates forum, scheduled from 6 to 7:30 that evening.

During the course of the day, a number of campaigns tried to negotiate solutions behind the scenes—and one by one, began to give up and reconfirm their original commitments to Create The Vote. By the end of the day Tuesday, John Barros, Bill Walczak, and Marty Walsh had done so; today, Charlotte Golar Richie joined them. To the best of my knowledge, only Rob Consalvo—who had never committed to Create The Vote in the first place—had said he would participate in the Herald debate.

And so it the Herald et al announced this afternoon that it is moving its debate to 8 p.m. “to accommodate a scheduling conflict by some candidates.” No naming of the conflicting event. However, the opening line—”Candidates are lining up to take part”—is now a little less dubious. With the change in start time, Connolly is now planning to participate in the Herald debate in addition to Create The Vote, his campaign tells me, and I expect others to follow suit. (The two venues are very close: the Paramount and the Modern Theaters downtown.)

Now that the scheduling fiasco seems to be over, it’s worth crediting the sponsors for arranging what will likely be the only live televised debate with all candidates invited before the preliminary—and in prime time, as it turns out.

No doubt the sponsors learned a couple of valuable lessons: 1) plan early; and 2) don’t screw around with Boston’s arts community.