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GOP weighs lopping a day off national convention

Republicans are pondering an idea that may boost their TV ratings: a shorter national convention in 1984. GOP chairman Frank J. Fahrenkopf Jr. said Wednesday he wants to cut one full day off the usual four-day convention schedule. The party meets next August in Dallas.

Conventions usually begin on Monday nights and finish late Thursday or early Friday. But TV networks grumble that covering the conventions gavel to gavel is getting too expensive. Mr. Fahrenkopf is also concerned that it may be hard to hold the public's attention in August, since the GOP meeting will follow both the Democratic convention and the Summer Olympics. A final schedule could be determined when the party's National Committee meets in February.

Fahrenkopf also said the party plans its "most intensive voter registration program in the last 15 years" in 1984. The GOP will spend several million dollars to seek out and register 3 million new Republican voters.

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