GOP scales back tomorrow’s convention plans.

Today, GOP officials “announced they would hold only essential party business required under its rules on Monday” at their convention in Minnesota. Party officials “have decided that Monday’s session will open at 3 p.m. Central time and probably end at 5 to 5:30 p.m. and will be limited to official business like adopting the platform and electing convention officers.” The New York Times reports on what the media will be doing:

The major television networks are pulling some of their top talent out of Minneapolis, promising to diminish, if not upend, coverage of the convention. Katie Couric will head to the Gulf Coast to open the “CBS Evening News” from there Monday night, instead of from the convention hall as planned. Charles Gibson of ABC News and Brian Williams of NBC News are expected to do the same.

“Nightline” on ABC will also broadcast from the storm area, as will CBS News, a sign that all of the major news programs will be focused on the hurricane zone rather than the convention floor adorned with Mr. McCain’s “country first message.” That will deprive him of the crucial perk of wide television coverage of his message that usually comes with a political convention.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA) has also decided not to attend, although it is unrelated to the hurricane; he needs “to deal with a continuing stalemate in Sacramento over the state budget.”