August 21, 2001 03:24 PM

Rep. Gary Condit, 53, will give a TV interview Thursday evening on ABC, his first such public appearance since federal intern Chandra Levy disappeared on May 1, his spokeswoman announced Monday. Despite a media frenzy over his connection to Levy, Condit has kept silent about his connection to Levy, and is not considered a suspect in her disappearance. “Congressman Condit will sit down with Connie Chung,” said a statement from his office. “He will also communicate directly with his constituents and speak with other media.” Snagging the embattled Democratic representative from California for an unedited chat, during which all questions will be fair game, is quite a coup for Chung and is expected to result in some powerful ratings for her network. According to the Wall Street Journal, ABC (which is owned by Disney), beat out its rivals, AOL Time Warner’s CNN (AOLTW also owns PEOPLE), General Electric’s NBC and Viacom’s CBS, for the exclusive. Within the realm of ABC, Chung, 55, also beat out sister newswomen Diane Sawyer, 54, and Barbara Walters, 69. “It was an interview everybody wanted,” ABC TV president Alex Wallan told the Journal. “We have a lot of stars, and they compete and that’s healthy.”

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