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'News of the World' Sees Record Sales for Final Issue

People grabbed all 4.5 million copies published

Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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This past Sunday, the British public put aside their outrage long enough to snap up a copy of the final issue of News Corp.’s News of the World. According to unofficial sales figures, which won’t be confirmed until the publisher releases numbers later on Monday, all 4.5 million copies printed are estimated to have been sold.

Sunday’s sale surge is about a 70 percent increase on News of the World’s typical circulation of 2.66 million, says the Guardian, and the most copies sold of a single issue since 1998. (In February of that year, the newspaper sold 4,543,457 copies, according to official figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulation.) There were even reports of people paying nearly $16 to get their hands on a copy, which retails for $1.60.

The massive boost in sales will be good news for the charity advertisers who took up the paper’s offer of free ad space, as well as the charities to which News of the World has promised to donate all circulation revenue from the final issue, says the Guardian. Of the $1.60 cover price, 41 cents goes to the retailer and wholesaler, leaving about $1.18 per copy—which means that the charities could soon see a $5.26 million donation if that 4.5 million figure is correct.

The News of the World’s Sunday rivals—Mail on Sunday, Sunday Mirror, and Sunday Express—also got a piece of the massive buzz surrounding the paper's final issue, reporting an increase in distribution of about 25 percent.