Another neighborhood newspaper has been launched, but this one won't live or die by the vagaries of the free market. The Adams Avenue Post, as the new publishing entry is called, has no competition in its Kensington, Normal Heights, and University Heights turf, so there will be no need to undercut the competition as the battling Ocean Beach newspapers must do. And the publishers needn't be worried by he ominous prediction of Logan McKechnie, whose smart-looking Tierrasanta Bulletin folded despite the fact that it served one of San Diego's fastest-growing neighborhoods. "It will not make it," McKechnie says heavily of the Post. "It cannot make it."
Actually, the first issue of the Post is healthy. Its eight pages are filled with paid advertisements, some $2000 in all, the publishers report. And that's almost enough to break even on the 10,000-copy press run. There's an ad from "community-minded" San Diego Federal Savings, and coupon specials from florists, boutiques, and frame shops. Even a paid "congratulations" announcement from the Roger Hedgecock for Mayor Committee, and a thank-you note from Congressman Jim Bates.
But should the enthusiasm wane and the ad revenues fall, the Post's publishers can lean on a $6000 subsidy from the county. The unusual underwriting effort, paid out of federal revenue-sharing monies, is part of a $10,000 grant from the county to the Normal Heights Development Corporation. The corporation, a sort of miniature Southeast Economic Development Corporation, is a nonprofit agency that will publish the Post. "We see the Post as an advocate for Normal Heights, the forgotten community," says Steven Temko, an attorney and one of ten Normal Heights residents who helped form the corporation and convince the county to fund it. "We don't have many social services here," he says of the Normal Heights area, "so the Post can help tell people what's going on ... tell them how to get to the resources we do have, like the Mid-City Community [Health] Clinic."
Temko promises that the Post will not shrink from criticizing government policies as they affect Normal Heights, even though such criticism may anger the politicians who control the subsidy that allows the neighborhood paper to publish. "We're under no more pressure than a newspaper that depends on ads," he assures. "And we've also got good on our side. We're not trying to make a buck or a profit."