Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

The Obama Aftermarket: $20 for a Copy of Today’s New York Times?

Who says newspapers are dead?

New York has three dailies (four if you count The Wall Street Journal, even more if you count specialty papers like the Spanish-language El Diario) and it’s impossible to buy any of them at newsstands today, according to an informal channel check conducted by … me.

Capitalism/speculation to the rescue: eBay (EBAY) seller jel2maine has 15 copies of today’s New York Times, and is asking for a mere $19.99 plus $3.99 shipping.

That’s a 1500 percent markup over the paper’s street price of $1.50. Any takers?

UPDATE: You may want to hold off before bidding. Dave Martin, a media watcher based in Madison, Wis., says a Times employee tells him the paper is rushing out an additional 50,000 copies this afternoon.

Confirmed–here’s New York Times spokeswoman Catherine Mathis:

Yes, we are going back on press to print 50,000 copies of today’s paper for distribution at Grand Central, Penn Station, Port Authority and other select locations.

We had increased our print run for single copy sales today by about 35%. In 2004 we saw an increase in sales of around 50,000 copies the day after the election and based on what we’ve seen today, we expect to significantly surpass those sales.  We also plan to increase our print run for single copy sales tomorrow, although not as much as today.

I’m sure you know that today and tomorrow we have a special election section in the paper and, of course, on NYTimes.com, we have all sorts of features including, interactive graphics with all the presidential, senate and congressional election results by state and county, live updates on the blogs on the contested Senate race in Minnesota and the uncertainty of who will fill one of Alaska’s Senate seats. We also have a video of this campaign, going back to the primaries, called ‘Choosing a President,’ which is quite extraordinary.

According to our internal numbers, yesterday was a record day for NYTimes.com. There were 55.1 million page views, shattering the previous record by 29%.  We don’t have numbers yet for today. We’ve had record mobile page views of 2.7 million at NYTimes.com.”

[Image Credit: specialkrb]


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