When politicians don't like stories about them in The N&O, they say we're "just trying to sell papers." The latest politician to make this charge is Tracey Cline, the Durham district attorney who was the subjct of a three-day series in early September. Actually, that kind of work doesn't typically sell papers. Sales of The N&O on Sept. 4-6, when we ran our "Twisted Truth" series about Cline, were down from a year earlier.
What does sell papers is winning sports teams. The Hurricanes' NHL championship and Duke and UNC NCAA men's basketball championships all were big sellers, especially the day after the final game. While politics does not typically sell papers, Barack Obama's election in November 2008 was a big seller.
Anything about American Idol winner Scotty McCreery of Garner also sells The N&O. For example, on Saturday, Oct. 8, we published a Scotty poster page to mark his appearance that day at Walnut Creek. McCreery was celebrating the release of his album, "Clear As Day," and his 18th birthday. We sold about 1,500 extra copies of The N&O that day.
We put Scotty on the front page today after he sang the national anthem Wednesday night before the opening game of the World Series. It's too soon to say whether that sold any papers but it could not have hurt. The N&O's Thad Ogburn, who has written several stories about McCreery, reports today that McCreery, a pitcher, hopes to play for the Garner High Trojans in the spring.