By LARRY KANTER
Five months after the Santa Monica Outlook closed its doors, a local attorney is attempting to launch a new daily newspaper in the seaside city.
Dubbed "The New Outlook," the paper will debut Aug. 12 with a one-time introductory issue, said the publisher, Santa Monica attorney David Ganezer. If it meets with sufficient interest, the New Outlook will begin publishing daily in September, he said.
Ganezer decided to launch a newspaper after the Outlook was shut down by Copley Press Inc. in March an event that he says has left a big void.
"People are looking for community and big media companies do not make a community feel special," he said. "It is a myth that you cannot do a local newspaper."
But even before the New Outlook puts its first issue to bed, it is encountering difficulties from the old Outlook. Claiming that it still owns the Outlook name, Copley Press has filed a lawsuit demanding that Ganezer find a new name.
Copley continues to publish a daily advertising section, called "Outlook Classifieds," which has a circulation of about 10,000 and is distributed free at former Outlook newsboxes.
"We want to protect the name," said Tom Wafer, vice president of Copley and publisher of the Torrance Daily Breeze. "We don't care if this other organization publishes a newspaper in Santa Monica. We just don't want them to call it the Outlook."
Copley's motion for an injunction barring use of the name is scheduled for a hearing in U.S. District Court this week.
Ganezer, who has invested about $100,000 of his own money into the project, said he has received commitments from about 2,000 people willing to pay $120 a year to subscribe. He figures he needs about 7,500 subscribers in order to begin publishing every day.
Cynthia Rawitch, chair-elect of the journalism department at Cal State Northridge, said Santa Monica may indeed embrace a local newspaper, but added that launching a daily from scratch is a difficult proposition at best.
"To try to pull off a daily in competition with the L.A. Times seems ambitious," she said. "If there were room for one, then the Outlook would have been more successful and it was backed by Copley money."
The New Outlook is not the only publication looking for a toehold in Santa Monica. A group of former Outlook staffers recently launched a weekly publication called the Santa Monica Sun. And the Los Angeles Times publishes a weekly community supplement called "Our Times," which is distributed to Times subscribers in Santa Monica.
The Times is especially interested in establishing or acquiring community papers. Times Mirror Co., for example, recently purchased the 35,000-circulation Pasadena Weekly.
Times spokeswoman Laura Morgan says the company plans to continue operating the Pasadena paper as a community weekly.
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