The Chron along with The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune restarted their presses yesterday and printed more newspapers as readers scrambled for a souvenir of Barack Obama’s election.
The Chron noted in a story that at Fog City News on Market Street, people were lined up at the door before the newsstand opened at 8 a.m., and within a half hour, all copies of the New York Times and The Chronicle were gone.
- The Chronicle planned to sell an extra 40,000 copies of Wednesday’s paper, plus 40,000 special commemorative editions, said Chris Blaser, the paper’s vice president of circulation. But because of the demand, the edition was sold out by midmorning. So in a rare move, the presses were restarted to print an additional 35,000 copies of the morning paper Wednesday afternoon.
“I’ve been in the business for 28 years and it’s probably the highest level of demand and excitement I’ve seen in my career,” Blaser said. “This has really touched everybody, particularly in the Bay Area.”
More than 2,000 special editions were sold by the afternoon through the paper’s Web site, SFGate.com, some to buyers as far as Norway, Blaser said. And a line formed outside The Chronicle when word spread that the extra editions were available.
A copy of the $1 commemorative edition of The Chronicle was already going for $51 on eBay, while a copy of the New York Times had a bid of $400.
The Oakland Tribune reported that scalpers were reselling papers there at inflated prices and that a 7-Eleven store in Hayward was charging higher prices to whites than blacks. According to a story by Angela Woodall of the Oakland Tribune:
- Christopher Carney stood in line at a Hayward 7-Eleven waiting for a newspaper Wednesday morning only to be told by the clerk, an African-American woman, that he would have to pay $5 for a copy. “If you want it, it’s $5,” the clerk replied when he refused, Carney said.
She then charged the next customer, another black woman, 50 cents, he said. “We’re trying to keep some for the brothers and sisters,” the clerk reportedly told Carney, who is white, when he asked why she was charging two prices.
“At first I was mad,” said Carney, a Hayward resident. The 7-Eleven store where the incident occurred is on Jackson Street, near Highway 92. “But a person is a person and money is money when it comes to a newspaper. We’re all just people.”
He bought a copy elsewhere and filed a complaint with the corporate 7-Eleven offices — he was told the company would investigate the matter. Calling the incident ironic, Carney said, “If Hillary Clinton had been elected would (the clerk) be saving all the papers for women?”