The barely solvent elephant in the room

Susan Delacourt wonders if the rear cabins of campaign planes this fall might be empty.

Our industry, as some might have noticed, is in a bit of a “transition” period. Elections are expensive.  And the most expensive item is the leader’s tour. It costs, conservatively, approximately $15,000 a week for one reporter’s seat on one leader’s campaign plane. Multiply that by five weeks and four reporters — that’s $300,000, minimum… In the past, the media managers would have sucked up the cost of the leaders’ tours as the price of doing the journalism business. But the business is changing (read: has no money), so it would be unwise of any politico, planning a leader’s tour, to count on all those journalists’ seats being filled on the plane. (We’ve been suspecting, by the way, that we’re subsidizing those tours.)