In an email blast to media, Desiree Charbonnet has withdrawn her participation claiming respected journalists have withdrawn their own participation.
In an email sent to the Charbonnet campaign, spokesperson Victoria Coulon said "Travers Mackel (WDSU) and Sabrina Wilson (WVUE) withdrew over ethical concerns". I then requested more information over the ethical concerns. She responded with, "What I’ve been told is that both reporters and their respective news directors had an issue with Sidney Torres being one of the panelists."
Update: Here is a statement posted on Torrest Facebook page: 7:40 PM
Desiree Charbonnet decided to snub the voters of New Orleans this evening making the excuse that she was not addressing the people of New Orleans in a live televised debate because of a change in 2 panelists. What Ms. Charbonnet failed to say in her statement regarding her decision not to attend is that the panelists were replaced with two prominent New Orleans journalists, one of whom earned a Pulitzer Prize and another who led New Orleans' number one television news operation for almost a decade. Furthermore leading up to Ms. Charbonnet's last minute cancellation, members of her campaign team were aggressively lobbying other campaigns to withdraw from our debate so there would be no opportunity for you to learn the candidates' positions on critical issues. Her decision is disappointing but mostly alarming. The next mayor of New Orleans will face tough challenges, if a candidate can't face tough questions why should we believe they can handle a tough assignment ahead?