NBC News, MTV Execs Behind Republican National Convention Staging

By Alex Weprin 

A lot goes into staging the Democratic and Republican national conventions. The stages and sets need to look good and get the political message across, while the speeches and entertainment need to be tightly packaged and timed.

The New York Times profiles the people behind the upcoming RNC, who are working to ensure that Mitt Romney and the other speakers look as good as possible, while expressing warmth and accessibility, along with policies.

To serve as executive producer, the Republican Party brought in Phil Alongi, a former politics producer with NBC News. Mr. Alongi has helped the Romney campaign fine-tune its programming so it fits neatly into the tight, one-hour block that the broadcast networks have dedicated to airing the convention in prime time. He has advised them on how to avoid certain pet peeves of producers, like running long at the top or bottom of the hour, when the networks have to cut away for commercial breaks.

Mr. Alongi, with his knowledge of what cameramen and producers will be looking for, has also ensured that Republican Party branding is placed in camera lines of sight. “When they’re flipping through the channels at home, I want them to know this is the Republican National Convention,” he said.