In a groundbreaking move, CNN and ABC News have teamed up to host two Republican presidential primary debates. The debates will take place in Iowa and New Hampshire on Thursday, August 6th and Friday August 7th respectively. The debates mark a significant shift in how candidates will present their platforms to the American public – shifting away from the traditional format, allowing for “conversation-style debates” in which candidates will have an opportunity to speak more intimately with one another. In an official statement given by CNN President Jeff Zucker, he made clear the intention of the debate process “We want to open up the discussion and focus more on the real issues that are impacting voters, rather than the back-and-forth rhetoric that has become a part of these debates.” While this new debate format is sure to be interesting, it may be seen as risky for both networks given the importance of the Republican primaries. With many current presidential candidates sporting controversial views, the networks may feel backlash from their viewership. However, Zucker remained enthused over the decision, citing the need for “openness, transparency, and fairness.” The news of the debates comes soon after the Iowa GOP outcry over the networks’ refusal to air traditional, one-on-one debates. CNN and ABC have yet to respond to this demand, hinting the traditional format may be off the table for the Aug. 6th and 7th debates. The debates will be broadcast live on CNN, ABC News, and across all streaming services. This unprecedented move signals decisive action by both networks to engage the public in the primary process. It will be an interesting shift as voters wait to see how the new conversation-style format impacts the voting public. With anything presidential politics there is risk, but Zucker remain confident that the new debate format will help re-engage the voters of Iowa and New Hampshire and choose the right candidate for President.