ItO ,15A . Ant. tf; hyn: Nay k Ssz .>. “TOO MANY ARE CRAZY” P. 16 LETTERS P.18 fur,..x0* Thy Toast of The Coast A CURE FOR THE COMMON NEWSPAPER COASTAL BEND NEWS 254 WEEK *A****** FULTON WRECK P. 5 HUFF PUFF ARREST P. 8 CYCLE WRECK P. 12 TANKER COLLISION P. 18 A.P. WRECK P 26 SINTON POLICE P,32 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 9 -moiosi.r.rekokose ,rwslow…4..t. what they were doing. They taught themselves their own brand of photography and writing and layout and news coverage. Mullins settled on a motto, “A Cure for the Common Newspaper,” and proceeded to create an antidote to all things both sacred and sensible. Ed and Mac chased police cars and ambulances day and night. Pat, gruff, bearded, selfdeprecating, cornball and as naively guileless as any cub on a metropolitican daily cranked out editorials lambasting Aransas County for having no emergency paramedical system and popped off here and there about What’s Right and Wrong with the U.S. of A. He figured, he says, that while in the Army, if he walked through the company area and somebody said, ” ‘Hey, Top, let’s go get a drink,’ that I wasn’t doing my job .. . but if I walked through and heard people calling me an s.o.b. or worse, I could sleep good.’ ” That’s pretty much the way he looks at the newspaper business. As such, he sleeps well. In four years, the paper has prospered. Circulation has grown to 6,000, there is talk of expanding the market to Corpus Christi, and Mullins employs a staff of 18, including production crew \(printing is done by the Ads are plentiful, taking 50 percent of the news hole. The publication has moved into new quarters an old sanctuary which formerly housed the fundamentalist Church of Christ. The building is just up the street from the sheriff’s office and a few blocks inland from the beach. Frankly, there is something weird about a newspaper working out of a former Church of Christ, especially this newspaper. On the other hand, it all makes sense. The Toast of The Coast is a fundamentalist paper. It is direct, unrefined, gut-level. That’s the way people in the area tend to like their religion, and that seems to be the way they like their news. Hell-Raising “We try to give ’em their 35 cents worth. We feel like we give ’em their money’s worth. Most weekly newspapers don’t give ’em their money’s worth. If I’m out somewhere and I see somebody in a market buying another out of my pocket and buy ’em my paper. “It’s a matter of attitude. Some papers take themselves so seriously. If they want to be the sedate cottonmouth newspaper, that’s what they’ll be . . . if they want to be blood and guts that’s what they come out . . . or a National Enquirer . . . that’s what they’ll be. “We just want to say what happened in the previous week, and make it entertaining. We don’t assign any values. We leave that to the discretion of the readers. “What would make us run around singing on Tuesday morning \(deadline cutting, if the mayor was cutting the ribbon and also at the same time cut the commissioner’s tie. “Three months after we started, we didn’t know what we were doing. Now I feel like we could give lessons to 99 percent of the so-called journalists in the United States.” All this, and more, comes from Pat Mullins, whose office is behind and to the left of the now vacant altar and pulpit. It isn’t quite what surrounds Mrs. Pynchon in Lou Grant. Off to the side of Mullins’ office is an ersatz darkroom, and one door over is a cubicle which passes for a city room. It has two desks, radio monitors, and some maps.
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