Magazines scramble after presidential deadlock

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The still-undecided presidential race caused tremors of fatigue and trashed special issues at some of the nation's leading weeklies. Both Time and Newsweek had planned election issues that would hit newsstands the morning of Nov. 9. Exhausted Time staffers huddled in a 3 p.m. meeting Nov. 8 to discuss options and decided to wait until a winner had been declared to come out with a special issue. The newsweekly could conceivably go to press Nov. 9 to produce an issue for Nov. 10--but the prospect is complicated by Nov. 11 being Veterans Day, a postal holiday, and concerns over whether the title could be distributed to newsstands Nov. 10, a spokeswoman said. Unfortunately, earlier-crafted news releases touting the planned Nov. 9 special issue made ghostly appearances in journalists' in-boxes on Nov. 8. A Newsweek spokesman would only say "we are mulling numerous plans.'' People magazine, which had a Wednesday morning deadline for the weekly issue that hits newsstands Friday, substituted a story on giraffes for a planned four- to six-page feature on the president-elect. Business Week, with deadline looming late Nov. 8, decided to scrap potential covers on George W. Bush or Al Gore to go with a cover emblazoned, "What mandate? How the new president will govern.'' U.S. News & World Report, which shares presses with rival Newsweek, had no special issue planned, and can accommodate election results for its Monday edition as late as Saturday evening. Meanwhile in cyberspace, Web sites are doing cartwheels over the election results. News media Web sites say they not only smashed records but they did so handily. said it recorded 27 million page views from 3 a.m. Nov. 7 to 3 a.m. Nov. 8, nearly triple its previous record of about 10 million viewings for the Kenneth Starr report. Viewing the day after the election was on the way to breaking the previous record. Other sites also were setting records.

Copyright November 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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