Thursday, November 13, 2008

Economics of the NY Times Prank.

How much did the NY Times prank cost?

Yesterday a group of pranksters decided to print up a fake NY Times declaring a end to the war in Iraq along with a handful of funny and progressive news items. Over my morning coffee I decided to estimate the costs of the prank.

Right now newsprint costs $747 per metric ton. You get about 110 pages per pound and 2204.62 pounds per metric ton. So it's $747 in raw costs for 242,508 pages.

  • A 14 page newspaper * 1,200,000 copies is 16,800,000 pages. 16,800,100/ 110/ 2204.62 =69.28 * $747

  • $51,752.16 in raw material costs nor the newsprint.

  • I estimate 1 to 1 costs for production, plates, ink, labor, transportation for another $51,752.16

  • I'll assume that like minded volunteers handed out the papers and did all other related work for free.


Estimated Total: $103,504.32

So 100k plus for a prank without any foreseeable benefit among the participants. That's quite a pricey prank.

*update....according to a New York Post article, Andy Bichlbaum of Yes Men claims the cost was $100,000. Apparently I was pretty close

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