Has Crowded GOP Field Forced Networks to Pool Resources?

By Mark Joyella 

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There are so many Republicans running, it’s hard to make a full-screen graphic that shows them all. Already Fox News and CNN have decided that not every candidate will be getting a spot on stage at the first debates–at least, not at the same time–and the ever-widening field of Republican presidential hopefuls leaves little chance of every candidate getting coverage for every campaign event.

“Every news organization is grappling with that question right now because of the size of the field,” Charlie Mahtesian, senior politics editor for Politico, told The Huffington Post. “We’ve never had to contend with a field like this.”

Of course, not every candidate draws a crowd. As Bloomberg Politics recently discovered, top-tier candidates get swarmed, while George Pataki ended up standing in front of a room full of empty chairs.

Citing an unnamed “senior network staffer,” HuffPo reports ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and Fox News have “begun pools that share responsibilities for covering events earlier than in previous presidential cycles.” Executives at two networks contacted by TVNewser, however, said the large number of announced candidates has not resulted in any change in the way they are covering the campaign, and pool coverage has not been earlier this election cycle.