Monday, July 07, 2008


WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

With the move of Obama's acceptance speech to Invesco Field, we at DemConWatch have questions:

  • The networks usually setup full anchor booths inside the convention hall, setup so the podium can be seen over the anchor's shoulder. Are they going to do anchor booths in Invesco also? And in 5 days?
  • Given the enormous publicity that's going to surround Thursday's speech, will the networks cut back on their coverage earlier in the week?
  • Will the protest area and parade route need to be moved? Any protest area is supposed to be within "sight and sound" of delegates." The area in the Pepsi Center parking lot is not within sight and sound of Invesco.
  • Have the Broncos been approached about moving their preseason game on Aug 22 to another site, or moving it earlier in the week, to allow more preparation time for the speech? (And we thought only the GOP would face NFL conflicts).
Update: And a first start at some answers:
The move, rumored for days and announced by the Obama campaign on Monday, set off a round of complaints from news executives, who for more than a year have been drawing up elaborate plans for a convention that was to culminate in the main hall, at the Pepsi Center in Denver.
The news media will also bear added costs. Executives said they would have to reconfigure plans long in the making, a particular headache for the television networks, which build elaborate sets for the conventions to showcase their stars. The acceptance speeches are traditionally when television news divisions draw their largest ratings of the conventions.

“It’s a bit of a monkey wrench in the plans, but nothing we can’t handle,” said Marty Ryan, the executive producer in charge of political programming at Fox News Channel.

David Bohrman, the Washington bureau chief of CNN, said his network was moving ahead with plans to build a platform on the floor of the Pepsi Center, but executives at several other networks said planning would require further review. - NY Times
However, cable and broadcast news organizations can’t begin drawing up concrete plans for the Aug. 28 event at the open-air Invesco Field at the 76,000-seat Mile High Stadium until the Democratic National Committee and the Obama campaign make some basic decisions about things like where the stage will be.
After a Monday afternoon conference call with representatives of the five major news organizations, the DNC and the Obama campaign, CNN was feeling good about its plans to have its CNN Election Express bus on the scene in Denver.

“It’s an instant four-camera, high-definition remote [facility],” David Bohrman, the Washington bureau chief who is the chief producer of CNN’s political coverage, said after the call. “Thank goodness we built the bus.”

MSNBC is glad it had decided to construct a base for its anchors at a location outside the Pepsi Center. - TV Week
The budget-conscious broadcast networks will also consider scaling back the size of studios they traditionally build at the convention center, knowing they will also have to prepare perches for their anchors at the stadium, said executives at three networks who spoke on condition of anonymity because no decisions had been made. - AP