Paper Roses

It’s hard to believe the newspaper industry couldn’t foresee the demand for Wednesday’s historic keepsake editions – the first since 9/11 – but then the industry hasn’t foreseen much very well in recent years. Lines of people looking for copies of the Times and Post formed in New York and Washington, D.C., but the real stunner was that right here in Chicago neither the Tribune nor the Sun-Times published enough copies to meet demand. If either of them had properly thought ahead, they not only would have predicted the demand but stoked and exploited it with a marketing campaign.

At any rate, here’s the press release the Tribune Company put out on Wednesday as it played catch-up.

November 5, 2008

Tribune Sees Huge Demand for Post-Election Newspapers
* Single Copies Selling Out, Markets Printing Additional Copies
* Newspaper Website Traffic Reaching Record Levels

CHICAGO, Nov. 5, 2008 – On the day following Barack Obama’s election as the next president of the United States, Tribune Company announced it was experiencing historic demand for its newspapers in each of the eight markets it serves across the country.

“This is a clear demonstration that people continue turning to their local newspaper to help them understand and interpret the news of the day, and that is especially true when big events happen,” said Randy Michaels, Tribune’s chief operating officer. “This kind of demand for our newspapers is unlike anything we’ve experienced in recent history. The traffic at our newspaper web sites is also way up – yesterday, the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times
sites experienced a record-breaking number of page views.”

In anticipation of the increased demand, Tribune newspapers increased press runs in some markets by as much as 10 to 100 percent. Many of the company’s newspapers will continue
printing additional copies throughout today. Some highlights:

– The Los Angeles Times expects to sell 100,000 more copies than it does on a typical Wednesday.

– Obama’s hometown newspaper, the Chicago Tribune, increased its press run last evening by several thousand copies and will print and distribute an additional 200,000 copies today.

– The Baltimore Sun increased last night’s press run 100 percent, is printing more copies today, and will make still more copies of today’s newspaper available for sale tomorrow in most locations across the city.

– Both of the company’s newspapers in the battleground state of Florida, the Sentinel in Orlando and the Sun Sentinel in South Florida, experienced unprecedented demand – each printed an additional 12,000 copies for their respective markets.

– The Courant, in Hartford, Conn., printed an additional 15,000 copies, the Daily Press, in Newport News, Va., printed an additional 12,000, and the Allentown Morning Call an additional 3,500.


One response to “Paper Roses

  1. Unindicted Co-conspirator

    Since it was nationwide, it’s very obvious why they didn’t print enough papers, the bean counters wouldn’t let them!
    That & the steady decline in single copy sales must have scared them from doing a huge print order which could have been sent right to the recycling bin.
    I’m sure there was also some fear of the Bradley Effect & that the polls were just wrong.

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