Sentinel: Shopping is big news

Few events ignite the passions of a metropolitan readership like the opening of a mall. And it isn't every newspaper that can give such a momentous event the ink it deserves.

Credit the Orlando Sentinel, then, for last week's near-constant coverage of the Mall at Millenia opening. The frenzy to document the "story" extended from the front page to almost every section of the paper. (We're still waiting for the sports section's perspective.)

From an A-1 nighttime photo of the mall's "glowing palm trees" to several profiles of the mall's luxury stores, drooling Sentinel editors delivered no fewer than 11 stories since Oct. 10.

Did the glut of fawning coverage have anything at all to do with all the ad money the mall spent with the Sentinel? Of course not. And how dare you ask.

"It's of great importance to the community," says Sentinel managing editor Elaine Kramer. "I would equate this mall opening to the opening of a theme park."

Right, because no one in this town can afford either.

"There were 260,000 visitors there for opening weekend," she continues. "The Super Bowl in Tampa had 80,000 people, and look at how much coverage that got."

Stop the presses! We found that extra angle. Get Jerry Greene on the phone.

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