The Santa Maria Times, a morning daily, published an extra edition about the verdict in Michael Jackson’s molestation trial with a banner headline reading “NOT GUILTY ON ALL COUNTS.”
It was marketed as a commemorative edition, a $1 souvenir for readers in a city whose residents have enjoyed or endured the spotlight of celebrity trial.
About 6,000 copies of the 8-page color edition were printed and “we sold a bunch down at Neverland ranch” to fans, said Tom Bolton, the newspaper’s executive editor.
Sales were brisk even through the edition costs twice as much as the regular morning paper, which has a circulation of about 20,000.
Hawkers were “coming back and basically dropping bags of money,” Bolton said.
“It’s just one of those events that people are connecting with,” he said. “And it’s a piece of history.”