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Signage is displayed during a media walkthrough for the upcoming Democratic National Convention at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, on Tuesday, January 7. Daniel Acker/Bloomberg/Getty Images

The Democratic National Convention next month will take place over the course of four nights between August 17 and 20, and CNN can now confirm that each night of programming will take place from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. 

The decision to limit the TV programming to just two hours of prime time each night is one of the starkest signs yet of how unconventional this year’s gathering will be in the age of the coronavirus pandemic compared to previous conventions, typically filled with various events and speakers for many hours each day. POLITICO was first to report the shortened hours of prime time programming for the Democratic convention. 

Given this decision, it goes without saying that speaking slots and various segments simply won’t be as long as they might have been in previous conventions so that they can try to fit as much in — and as many speakers in — as possible. 

The programming will include both content coming out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as well as other satellite cities and landmarks across the country — which CNN has previously reported — though the final details, including themes, are still in the process of being finalized.

As CNN has already reported, Joe Biden himself will physically accept the Democratic nomination for president in Milwaukee. The speaking line-up for other prominent figures is also still being finalized — for example, the Obamas will definitely participate, but exactly how and from where they will appear is still unclear. 

People familiar with the convention planning also say that there continue to be active discussions on how to hold the four-night event with proper precautions around Covid-19 — the public health concern will “drive every decision we make,” is how the thinking was described. 

Epidemiologists Larry Brilliant and W. Ian Lipkin are taking lead roles in advising those planning the convention.



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