The last night of the Democratic National Convention has been moved to Denver's INVESCO Field at Mile High Stadium, which can accommodate more than 75,000 people. (See related discussion here.)

After months of planning and spending millions to prepare for covering the convention, the national news media says not so fast.

When the news was first announced, early reports said that the networks considered not covering the speech at all, due to the logistics of setting up in two locations.

They have toned that down a little today, saying the last minute change makes coverage "enormously more expensive" but that they are looking at ways to reallocate resources. According to Politico:

"We want to anchor at it," one broadcast executive said. "[But] do you need to be there to anchor for all four nights? That’s something that we are asking ourselves."

"We are still planning to carry the most significant appearances and speeches from Monday on, in primetime," he noted. "It doesn’t seem smart to invest in a full anchor setup at both locations when the candidate is only going to show at one location."

The broadcast executive added that Obama’s decision will, at a minimum, lead the broadcast networks not to go "whole hog at the Pepsi Center," which is nearly two miles from the outdoor stadium.

In announcing the change of venue for Obama's presumed acceptance speech, DNC Chairman Howard Dean said "The Democratic Party is nominating a true change candidate this August, and it is only fitting that we make some big changes in how we put on the Convention. Senator Obama's candidacy has generated an enormous amount of excitement and interest, not only in the Democratic Party but also in the 2008 Convention. By bringing the last night of the Convention out to the people, we will be able to showcase Barack Obama's positive, people-centered vision for our country in a big way."

Victor Agreda Jr's picture

understandable

Considering modern TV production is a complicated affair, especially when you factor in this level of participation, I can see how they'd be a little irked. Still, I'm sure all you'll need to do is go to Ustream each night and some clever video streaming blogger will have figured out what we all know: talking heads don't matter, candidates and their platforms matter.

tragicallyhip's picture

not understandable

I understand how this requires tough business decisions, but not how they could even consider not covering it. How they allocate resources is completely up to them. But it would be a serious dereliction of journalistic duty to not cover the speech regardless of the amount of money they've spent preparing for one venue. It's not the news media's job to dictate events but to cover them. The candidates control how their campaigns are run, the media how to cover them. To enjoy to right of freedom of the press is to accept responsibility for determining what's newsworthy and providing unbiased coverage of it. The move to the stadium is itself incredibly newsworthy... the event even moreso.

gonzone's picture

Waah!

They'll cover it, even if they do whine.

BTW Randy, be sure to check out where all the cool kids will be in Denver, at the BigTent.

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
Hunter S. Thompson

rikki's picture

Big media rakes in millions

Big media rakes in millions and millions of dollars from Presidential campaigns. They have done everything they can to stretch these elections out into multi-year gloss fests. They can take their whining and stick it where they put all the real news they don't cover.

gonzone's picture

Seconded

I second that emotion.

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
Hunter S. Thompson

Brian A.'s picture

"the logistics of setting up in two locations"

All they really need is a few camera crews at the second location, right?

It would not be the end of the world for them to not have their pretty little sets for their talking heads at INVESCO Field. How many viewers would really care if they just stayed at the first set and watched it on TV like everyone else?

Brian A.
I'd rather be cycling.

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