Obama's White House win sends US paper sales soaring

LONDON - Barack Obama's victory to become the 44th president of the United States proved a boon for struggling newspaper sales, with US publishers rolling extra copies off the presses by the thousands and yet still failing to meet demand.

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News of his victory even led the opportunistic to sell copies of sold-out papers on eBay, with copies sold for more than $200.

One seller of The Charlotte Observer gave an asking price of $2,000.

While The New York Times, like many papers, had anticipated extra demand for its paper, it failed to predict the scale of the public's appetite for the paper.

It printed 35% more copies than usual for sale on Wednesday (an increase of about 150,000) and later printed 75,000 more, but still sold out.

The Washington Post also boosted its print run, printing an extra 30,000 copies on Tuesday night.

In keeping with the US spirit of commercial opportunism, the paper then produced 150,000 copies of a special edition of the paper, which it sold for $1.50 each, three times the normal cover price.

The Chicago Tribune, in Obama's home town, added an extra 20,000 copies to its usual print run of about 50,000, but ended up printing 200,000 more.

The paper's office reception even became the equivalent of a newsstand, with staff selling 16,000 copies from the lobby.

The Chicago Tribune on its website was also offering readers the chance to buy a piece of history by snapping up a commemorative issue celebrating Obama's victory.

Newspapers sales in the US have been struggling and hundreds of jobs have been cut in recent months from titles across the country as advertising revenues dry up and readers turn online.

Last week the Christian Science Monitor newspaper announced it was to end life as a daily newspaper and would instead publish online and a weekly magazine.