Dec 10, 2008

Business - NYT generates $1.7M from post-poll day paper

The historic election of Barack Obama as the first black US president gave The New York Times a USD 1.7 million injection of revenue at a time of sharply declining advertising sales.

The day after the November 4 election, newsstands from Seattle to New York sold out the 'Times', 'USA Today', the 'Chicago Tribune' and other papers declaring Obama the winner.

Some jubilant customers grabbed multiple copies as keepsakes.

The Times restarted its printing presses twice to generate an additional 350,000 copies of the November 5 edition. Customers lined up outside the Times' Manhattan headquarters to buy one, and the paper even set up a temporary newsstand inside its TimesCenter auditorium.

The newspaper also sold that edition online with a resealable plastic envelope for USD 14.95 - well above its normal USD 1.50 single-copy price. The newspaper also sold framed front page of the 'Times', Obama photographs and other items, spokeswoman Catherine Mathis said.

All that amounted to USD 1.7 million in sales last month, said Janet Robinson, chief executive of 'The New York Times' Co.

But Robinson recognized the sales as a one-time reprieve for an industry besieged by falling revenue as the deepening recession puts further pressure on an ad market already suffering from the migration of readers to the Internet.

Nonetheless, "we do think these sales speak to the enduring value of newspapers in all their formats as the preferred providers of trusted news and information," she said at a UBS media conference on Tuesday


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