Times rakes it in on Obama merchandise

The Los Angeles Times, which never had trouble making gobs of money until very recently, is loving the Obama phenomenon so far. The paper's hawking of front pages and other commemorative stuff has brought in $686,000, according to a post by media columnist James Rainey on the paper's national politics blog.

The big items now for sale reproduce the paper's Nov. 5 front page, headlined: "IT'S OBAMA" on an aluminum printing plate ($20), a mini-poster ($10) and, yes, the Nov. 5 paper itself ($2). Recently added were $10 T-shirts and coffee mugs. (Shipping and handling costs bump up the price of each.)

The New York Times offers similar gear, including its framed election front page with brass plating for $299.

A spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment about how much the Gray Lady has raked in so far with its Obamaphernalia.

Staffers at the LAT have been telling me the $20 plate was only $10 until lines of buyers went around the block, though I haven't confirmed that.

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