Two days before his much-anticipated face-off with Connie Chung, to be taped and aired Thursday, Congressman Gary Condit was interviewed by People magazine, which plans to have its cover story, picturing Condit with his wife, Carolyn, on newsstands Friday.

The People interview was the politician's first sit-down media interview since the May 1 disappearance of Chandra Levy.

The Democrat will also talk to a California television station and newspaper as well as Newsweek magazine, according to his spokeswoman, Marina Ein.

The California station is KOVR 13, according to their Web site. KOVR 13 says their reporter Jodi Hernandez will talk with Condit Thursday night at 11 p.m., PDT.

Newsweek spokesperson Ken Weine confirmed that their interview with the congressman will take place on Friday. The Newsweek article hits the stands Monday, with an advance copy scheduled to appear on the Web by Sunday.

It is still not clear what Condit will reveal in his 30-minute face-off with Chung. Sources said the congressman has spent a lot of time practicing for this interview over the past few days, conducting mock question-and-answer sessions with his advisers.

The interview will be "live to tape," which means that ABC will run the half-hour with no opportunity to edit what Condit says, and no extra time to follow up if Chung has more questions.

There are no restrictions on what Chung can ask the congressman.

Chung found herself competing with ABC news veterans Barbara Walters and Diane Sawyer for the interview, which is expected to be one of the most-watched TV programs of the summer.

Industry circles were buzzing Tuesday with reports that Condit chose Chung in part because Ein, his spokeswoman, is a longtime friend of the newswoman, or that Condit lawyer Abbe Lowell knew Chung's husband, Maury Povich.

Chung wasn't talking. ABC president David Westin said he didn't know whether these allegations were true, but added that there's nothing wrong with using personal contacts to get an interview.

Condit, 53, a married father of two, admitted to an affair with the 24-year-old during his third interview with police. Levy is a constituent of Condit's Modesto district.