Like their counterparts across the country, the local newspapers in Denver and Minneapolis-St. Paul have been cutting back as advertising sales dwindle. The next two weeks will be an exception: As the political conventions roll into town, the four major hometown dailies are planning lavish coverage worthy of the Olympics.
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, which sent just a handful of reporters to the conventions four years ago, is devoting more than 30 staffers to the Republican National Convention, which opens there on Sept. 1.
"You forget about the P&L for this," said Dean Singleton, chairman of MediaNews Group, which publishes both the Denver Post and Pioneer Press, among its 54 daily U.S. newspapers. "This is a week to really showcase what we do best."