"There is so little news being made now at the conventions," said Jeffrey McCall, a communications professor at DePauw University. "The conventions have no real deliberations on platform issues and the VP picks are all made well in advance and have already been introduced to the public.
"The main, real value for voters in watching the conventions is that they can see the candidates and hear their pitches in one place, without having to follow campaign stump speeches over many days of news coverage," McCall added. "Another benefit is for voters to see up and coming party leaders who might be influential on the political landscape in years to come."
For cable networks, however, the conventions mean something else. They are a chance to make an impression on (hopefully) impressionable viewers. "This is our opportunity to show people how good we are at covering politics," Griffin said.
For MSNBC, that will mean covering the campaigns from what Griffin dubbed a "progressive" point of view. For Fox News (which declined to comment on the record for this story), it will mean continuing to offer plenty of right-wing perspective during prime time.