Big changes at SDET: a letter to our friends

by Chris Klein, publisher


his month marks the end of the fourth year of publication of the San Diego Earth Times. Each month, we have distributed more than 42,000 copies of SDET at about 500 locations county-wide, and by the end of the month all but 1,500 or so have been picked up. This reception has been gratifying. It has always been our goal to present timely, thoughtful articles about the environment and our quality-of-life to the widest possible audience; your feedback indicates we have achieved a degree of success in this endeavor.

However, every business must in the long run be economically sustainable. While SDET has never been a profitable business venture, rising costs and sagging ad sales our only source of revenue make it impossible to continue in our current mode.

Therefore, we have decided to turn the print version of SDET into a subscription-based publication. For two dollars a month per subscriber, the hard-copy publication can sustain itself on a small fraction of the volume needed to ensure advertisers a return on their ads.

Frankly, we will miss the opportunity to broadcast our message widely. Your average San Diegan just won't find this stuff in the general press certainly not in the frequently eco-hostile Union-Tribune. On the other hand, the information will find its way into the hands of those most likely to take it to heart and be moved to action: subscribers with a deep concern and abiding interest in the environment and our quality-of-life.

Not having to distribute tens of thousands of copies does provides some positive opportunities as well. We will be changing our format from tabloid size to standard magazine size (a size I personally prefer for casual reading). This change also gives us more flexibility with the use of color. We'll be taking December off to develop the new format; our next issue will be January '98.


Forward the Web

  For more than a year, we have been publishing SDET on the World Wide Web at In fact, the web site has a complete archive of all our back issues. We will continue to publish on the web. In addition, during the first quarter of '98, we will be expanding our Web Calendar to include a much larger variety of events than we could possible publish on paper.


The bottom line


 If you are one of our long-time readers, you know who we are, what we stand for. There are a lot of battles to be fought and won before we can be assured of having clean air, clean water, healthy food and a vital natural environment. Getting the word out is critical.

If this message is important to you, if you have been moved or informed by our little paper, please take a moment to subscribe. We're ready to go ... the rest is up to you.

Subscription rates are $12 for 6 months, $24 for a year, or $44 for two years. Send your name, address and payment to:

San Diego Earth Times
PO Box 99179
San Diego, CA 92169