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Extra, extra ...*

November 5, 2008 |  2:33 pm

Los Angeles Times front page Obama election Dozens of e-mails like this started coming in to the readers' representative office early this morning, and are still coming in: "HELP!!!  We have looked everywhere for a copy of today's paper.  Will you be printing a second edition?" And, "I desperately need four copies of today’s paper, please tell me there is a way for me to get a copy of today’s 11/05/2008 L.A. Times it would mean a great deal to me."

Newspapers across the country are finding their Nov. 5 editions in high demand for their coverage of the historic election of the United States' first African American president. The Times is among many newspapers selling far more papers than normal today as readers in L.A. and around the U.S. seek multiple copies for themselves, for friends around the country and for their grandchildren. (Editor & Publisher reports that the Washington Post and New York Times are printing more, as is the Chicago Tribune.)

Jack D. Klunder, president of the Los Angeles Times Newspaper, says The Times is printing an additional 82,000 newspapers. (*Update: Klunder now says that The Times will print more -- an additional 25,000 copies -- and plans to produce today's edition as long as demand continues.) They are being sold in stores around L.A., and from The Times' two lobbies in downtown Los Angeles, where people started lining up at 11 a.m. (Vendors in the lobby on Spring Street said they'd sold about 1,500 as of early afternoon).

Here's how it stacks up with other big-news-day sales: After the first day of the Persian Gulf War in 1991, The Times sold an additional 216,000 papers.  The Space Shuttle Challenger explosion led to sales of an additional 118,000. Says Klunder, "We expect to sell about 100,000 additional papers today. Normal big-headline stories (fires, earthquakes, etc.) sell from 20,000 to 40,000" additional copies.

For back issues, customers should call Customer Service at (800) 252-9141. The call center will take both local and national calls. Readers also can come in to The Times' lobby at 145 S. Spring Street to buy copies. Hours are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.