Goodbye Olympics, hello conventions

August 26, 2008

convention.jpgThe end of summer is often a quiet spell for the media business. But first the Olympics, and now the political conventions, have kept news agencies and marketers on their toes.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the local newspapers in Denver and Minneapolis-St. Paul are going all out in their coverage of the conventions. It’s a pleasant change of pace for an industry that has had to cut back in many areas.

The Denver Post is printing an extra 24- to 36-page section every day this week devoted to coverage of political speeches, protests and traffic troubles tied to the Democratic National Convention, which kicked off in the Colorado capital Monday. Entertainment squads — replete with paparazzi-style photographers and borrowed veterans from the gossip beat — are tracking where Oprah Winfrey, Ben Affleck and other Barack Obama-flocking celebrities will eat and schmooze while in Denver.

The Pioneer Press in St. Paul is devoting more than 30 staffers to the Republican National Convention, which opens there on Sept. 1, the Journal said.

Advertisers are also getting into the act. They never like to miss an opportunity to showcase their stuff, and so we shouldn’t be surprised to see them turning up in Denver. USA Today has a roundup of what marketers are doing.

General Motors, for instance, will provide hundreds of cars to both parties. GM, a convention car donor since 1980, is providing for the first time this year all gas-electric hybrids or E85 flex-fuel vehicles (85% ethanol fuel). The goal: highlight GM’s more eco-friendly technology.

So much for a late summer vacation.  

Keep an eye on:

  • Hollywood studio Metro-Goldwin-Mayer said it was not for sale but is exploring “enhancements” to its long-term capital structure that could include a stock offering or debt refinancing (Reuters)
  • Electronic Arts and Take-Two Interactive Software have signed a non-disclosure agreement (NY Post)
  • NBC Universal drew a record number of viewers for its coverage of the Beijing Olympics, setting a standard that could have other media companies rethinking their roles in future Games (Reuters)

(Photo: Reuters)

One comment

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GM ‘s sudden stewardship of the environment is simply a way to continue to make gas guzzlers thanks to E85 an extremely inefficient fuel. The CAFE standards call for all car companies to achieve an average MPG for all vehicles. I believe the most recent number is 27 MPG. Well if you make the biggest money off of 10 miles per gallon SUV’s you would hate to say good bye to them wouldn’t you?
The CAFE standards has a loophole, that being that an E85 vehicle operating on E85 miles per gallon are ONLY figured against the actual amount of gasoline in the blend (15%) if you divide 100% fuel by 15% gasoline you get the multiplier to the mpg (666) therefore a gas guzzling 10 MPG SUV is given credit for 66.6 MPG. If you sell one SUV like this you can have 5 vehicles only achieving 20 MPG and this gas guzzling SUV and you average more than 27 MPG overall while not one of their vehicles really met the standard.
GM is not the only one taking advantage of this free ride Ford and Chrysler are too. The big three are heading down the toilet and this is just their hands clinging to the rim.

Posted by j Lovshe | Report as abusive