NEWSPAPER CONVENTION-AL WISDOM;PUBLISHERS PREPARE SPECIAL VERSIONS FOR DELEGATES

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Rupert Murdoch's Weekly Standard is going daily. The weekly National Journal will put out 12 special daily issues. One newspaper will be selling elephants.

It's the quadrennial publishing battle for ad dollars aimed at those attending next month's Republican and Democratic national conventions in San Diego and Chicago.

`BRIGADOON NEWSPAPERS'

Although Congressional Quarterly won't again produce a daily, and Editor Neil Skene now questions the wisdom of putting too much effort into a "Brigadoon newspaper that comes out of the mists every four years," others are rushing in.

For the first time, The Washington Post will publish a slimmed-down convention edition with ads tailored for convention-goers. The Los Angeles Times will publish its Washington edition in San Diego and Chicago. And, the 8-month-old Weekly Standard will offer three daily editions at each convention.

While all four are mainly seeking public-policy advertising, local newspapers in both cities have mounted extensive selling efforts seeking restaurant and merchant advertising aimed at the visiting conventioneers.

Local magazines also have put out special issues tailored to conventioneers' needs, while hotel TV systems will have special ads for visitors.

SHOWCASING THEIR TITLES

In addition to seeking ad dollars, most of the publications say they want to showcase their titles to influential readers and media.

"We make money at it," said John Fox Sullivan, president and publisher of National Journal, which publishes National Journal Conventional Daily as a 40-page tabloid newspaper from Sunday through Friday of each convention. "In 1984, we did it for the hell of it, and great promotional value. But now we sell it. Typically, we will sell $1 million in advertising."

National Journal is owned by Times Mirror Co. and sells advertising for the Los Angeles Times' Washington edition.

Mr. Sullivan said offering the Washington edition not only at the Chicago convention but in San Diego-where the Los Angeles Times sells its southern California edition-seemed logical given the Washington edition's political-oriented content.

"The [convention] readers are looking for national and political news that is in the Washington edition," he said.

By offering the small Washington edition, the paper also cuts newsprint costs.

The Washington Post is selling convention ads this year after switching from shipping papers from Washington to locally printing a convention edition.

Developments in remote printing technology over the last four years made the change possible, said Marc Rosenberg, manager of public policy advertising.

The Weekly Standard also hopes to make money, but Editor Bill Kristol admits the magazine wants to present itself to new readers and to have a role in the debate.

It will print 16-page papers for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings, with half of the content being advertising.

"We are a political magazine and the convention is the center of politics-and we would like to be able to comment day-to-day," he said. "We will offer a point of view, and hopefully will give some analysis that will enliven the debate."

The San Diego Union-Tribune is selling a VIP mascot-the Very Important Pachyderm stuffed elephant-as somewhat of a stunt during the convention, but the paper is serious about its attempt to sell local advertising.

A 16-page daily section aimed at the 50,000 attending the GOP confab and offering convention news is already standing-room-only with ads from local restaurants and stores.

Rates included discounts of up to 60% for weeklong buys.

The paper is taking steps to ensure readers get the latest coverage, including abandoning zoning for the week.

In Chicago, where the Chicago Sun-Times is an official Democratic National Convention sponsor, the Chicago Tribune plans a special section each day of the gathering.

Advertising details are still being worked out.Convention coverage

CONVENTION from Page 3

National Journal is owned by Times Mirror Co. and sells advertising for the Los Angeles Times' Washington edition.

CHICAGO AND SAN DIEGO

Mr. Sullivan said offering the Washington edition not only at the Chicago convention but in San Diego-where the Los Angeles Times sells its southern California edition-seemed logical given the Washington edition's political-oriented content. "The [convention] readers are looking for national and political news that is in the Washington edition," he said.

The Washington Post is selling convention ads this year after switching from shipping papers from Washington to locally printing a convention edition.

The Weekly Standard also hopes to make money, but Editor Bill Kristol admits the magazine wants to present itself to new readers and to have a role in the debate.

It will print 16-page papers for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings, with half of the content being advertising.

"We are a political magazine and the convention is the center of politics-and we would like to be able to comment day-to-day," he said. "We will offer a point of view, and hopefully will give some analysis that will enliven the debate."

The San Diego Union-Tribune is selling a VIP mascot-the Very Important Pachyderm stuffed elephant-as somewhat of a stunt during the convention, but the paper is serious about its attempt to sell local advertising.

OUT WITH ZONING

A 16-page daily section aimed at the 50,000 attending the GOP confab and offering convention news is already standing-room-only with ads from local restaurants and stores. The paper is taking steps to ensure readers get the latest coverage, including abandoning zoning for the week.

In Chicago, where the Chicago Sun-Times is an official Democratic National Convention sponsor, the Chicago Tribune plans a special section each day of the gathering.

Advertising details are still being worked out.

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