Thursday, June 12, 2008

Networks plan convention coverage

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

Politico and the NY Times both have articles on how the networks plan to cover the conventions, now that both nominees have been decided. Nothing has really changed from 4 years ago. NBC and CBS both plan 1 hour of coverage on 3 nights - basically Wednesday and Thursday nights, and whichever night Clinton speaks on. ABC has 4 hours planned, and the cable networks will obviously show more comprehensive coverage.

Of all the networks, NBC has the biggest logistical challenge, as Politico notes:

For NBC, there’s a “triple challenge,” according to Alongi, with staffers spread out between Beijing, Denver, and Minneapolis-St. Paul. Although Alongi will be in China for NBC’s Olympics coverage—which closes on the eve off the Democratic convention—he expects to head back to the states early to coordinate the conventions. Alongi’s not the only one: about 50 of the roughly 200 NBC staffers working the conventions will also be at the Olympics. That includes the “Today” show’s Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira, who are likely to split the conventions.
I would only note that at conventions in the 1980s, the networks routinely brought 700-800 staffers to each convention. Technology is the cause for some of the reduction, but what was once the premiere event for the network news organizations stopped being that a while ago.