The Boston Media Consortium will sponsor and has invited candidates to participate in two broadcast debates during the special election to fill the seat former Senator John Kerry vacated when he was appointed Secretary of State. All currently declared candidates were invited to participate in the April 23 primary debate in a letter sent earlier today by Linda Polach, Executive Producer for WGBH, on behalf of the Consortium.

A general election debate has also been proposed for June 18. The Consortium – which includes WGBH-TV, NECN, WCVB-TV, WHDH-TV, WGBH Radio, WBUR Radio and Bloomberg Radio – has a history of producing and moderating debates that reach wide television and radio audiences throughout Massachusetts.

“We ask that you consider our invitation in the spirit in which it is extended; as a valuable opportunity to reach thousands of voters on issues of importance,” Polach wrote in her invitation to the candidates. “As experienced and trusted media professionals who have produced many debates, we commit to a process that will meet your and our high standards.”

As proposed by the Consortium, the April 23 primary debate will be produced at WCVB-TV’s studios in Needham and will air live at 7pm. The 60-minute debate will be split evenly between the two parties, with Republican candidates getting 30 minutes and Democratic candidates getting 30 minutes. The general election debate will be produced at WGBH’s studios in Brighton at 7pm on June 18. Criteria for participation were outlined in the letter.

Additional details, including the moderator and format of both debates, are still being considered. The primary election will be held on April 30, with the general election to follow on June 25.

Democratic candidates Ed Markey and Steve Lynch have committed to six pre-primary debates, including including three general-issue debates in Boston, Worcester and Springfield and three thematically focused debates focused debates in Lowell, New Bedford, and a location to be determined.