Is Cox about to launch a free weekly to kill off Dayton City Paper?

There has been a rumor for a while that the Dayton Daily News would launch a free weekly- to kill off Dayton City Paper. The relaunch of “Active Dayton” as a site for the bar crowd was a first clue.

Today- peeking into the new Dolcessa on Brown Street (not quite open yet) I saw the next clue: a wire newspaper rack- with an “Active Dayton” sticker for the nameplate. A little snooping online doesn’t confirm it- but read the demographics for yourself and think what else could it mean?

Cox Ohio Publishing. Newspapers, websites, products, services, rates, history, audience, contacts and more. – Active Dayton
ActiveDayton.com

Southwest Ohio is home to an impressive group of active young adults with a wide variety of interests which can make reaching them with your message very difficult. ActiveDayton.com delivers this group, providing them with information about local night life, comedy clubs, movies, music and restaurants.

Catering specifically to adults aged 25-34 looking for entertainment and with money to spend, ActiveDayton.com gives them what they need: information about news, events and merchandise in the local area. And it gives you what you need: their attention!

With Publisher Kerry Farley living in Yakima WA, and just losing his associate publisher- we may be seeing the wheels falling off the Dayton City Paper cart premature to Cox’s shot across the water.

Anyone want to confirm when “Active Dayton” print edition will roll out?

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13 Responses

  1. David E. Bowman April 16, 2008 / 7:38 am
    Not sure as to the exact date, but I do know this is coming. I recently spoke with an Account Executive from DDN who mentioned the project.

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  2. Pam April 16, 2008 / 9:20 am
    It’ll probably just be an amped-up Go! Section.
    I don’t expect it to be avant garde or highbrow
    like the best alternative newspapers.

    Think about it: If it were any good, they’d be putting THEMSELVES out of business.

    They’ll settle for competing with themselves in the category of Lamest Local Bird Cage Liner.

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  3. yvan melnikoff April 16, 2008 / 11:17 am
    Since the first of this year the overall editorial direction of The Dayton City Paper has been remarkably focused. Beginning with a commentary on the state of downtown development that pre shadowed many of the initiatives of the creative initiative now known as Dayton Create, DCP has produced a near comprehensive perspective on the depth and creativity of the Dayton music scene (untapped by the DDN) that could script a stunning documentary that properly distributed would attract creatives to Dayton in droves like hippies to Haight Ashbury

    I have been writing for the DCP paper for awhile and I know “a few” people in town. The anecdotal feedback on the articles I contribute is almost non-existent. In other words there are plenty of Dayton City Papers all around town receiving little to no attention. Reader apathy aside, a bigger problem with the Dayton City Paper is the disparity between distribution numbers (which drives the relative worth of the ad space) and readership (which actually determines the worth of the ad rate). The DCP has had difficulties keeping cash flow from advertisers consistent, and problems keeping the writers paid in a timely fashion. Perhaps the Dayton Daily News noticed expanded letters to the editor section in the DCP with two column inches of air space and decided to snipe off the DCP’s drop out, no pay advertisers with a more competitive ad rate and higher distribution numbers. Although the DDN has been doing a much better job of linking more local focus to development it will never represent an alternative perspective. The Dayton City Paper serves as another “amenity” that make a city a vibrant experience. Maybe a white knight and a new business plan would keep the paper viable. The question then becomes, what’s it gonna take to get the city to care?

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  4. Drexel Dave April 16, 2008 / 12:36 pm
    Good call on the Dayton music scene being one of the most storied in the history of any city in the United States.

    And one good note to sum it all up on Dayton’s support of it’s inner-greatness: Guided by Voices, widely revered by critics, and with a cult following that rivals the Greatful Dead in devotion, could not, nor still cannot post the band’s breakup, get airplay in its own hometown.

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  5. pizzabill April 16, 2008 / 3:48 pm
    Doesn’t it make you miss WOXY 97-X being over-the-air on regular FM? I know that WVXU 91.7 is simulcasting the LaLa internet WOXY on one of its digital HD radio channels, but I don’t have a digital radio yet so I haven’t heard it. Anyone know where to get a portable digital HD radio?

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  6. Jeff April 16, 2008 / 4:14 pm
    WOXY is how I first heard of GBV.

    And yeah, Meltones’ series was pretty impressive (though I think I might have missed an installment). That was one of the best things City Paper has done.

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  7. J.R. Locke April 16, 2008 / 5:58 pm
    About 2 weeks ago someone told me over a few beers that the Dayton City Paper wasn’t going to last until the summer. Maybe this is what the dude meant.

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  8. David Esrati April 18, 2008 / 6:44 am

    Didn’t take long to verify online- and in today’s Go! section- the Dayton Daily Announces that “Active Dayton” is now in print.
    Say goodbye to the Dayton City Paper.

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  9. Greg Hunter April 21, 2008 / 7:23 pm
    I have seen it and it looks like Friday’s GO section with an insert of “Party People”; however, I was not featured. :)

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  10. redlady in dayton April 22, 2008 / 9:32 pm
    found copies today in Dolcessa (good gellato btw). Mostly adds for clubs and venues, with a little copy to serve as filler. None of the political opinion, editorial comments, etc.. That DCP offers.

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  11. J.T. Ryder July 1, 2008 / 8:37 am
    I know my response is slightly delayed on this topic, but it is an ongoing issue. As a freelance writer for the Dayton City Paper, I feel rumours of DCP’s demise are greatly exaggerated. While Active Dayton has the free floating funds to flood the market with a rehash of their Go! section, there are several factors that will keep Dayton City Paper in the fore of their demographic market. The first thing would be content. While Active Dayton has been adding blog style content to their free paper incrementally, I haven’t found it to be enough in volume or of the caliber to sustain much interest. The blog type writing style of their “original” content seems to have that feel of uber hippness whose sarcastic tone can only be tolerated for only so long. While they are shooting for the twenty-something demographic, the people that are making the marketing decisions are forty or above…and it shows. “We take the suck out of your weekend” was one of their first promotional slogans and just smacks of someone out of touch trying to be shocking, but, alas, just coming across as sophomoric. “Eat, drink and be sexy” isn’t much better, being the type of slogan only the writer feels is clever. Another factor against Dayton City Paper’s demise is something that doesn’t seem to be fashionable as of late: integrity. DCP actually culls the region for stories of interest; stories about real people and real events, not just space fillers that are foraged for then quickly forgotten. I still have phone calls and visits from people I have done stories about from over a year ago when I first started at DCP. One of the tactics I’ve noticed that shine a light on Active Dayton’s integrity (which, I should point out may be the choice of the delivery person and not a directive of Cox Publishing) is that they innundate the stores with fifty to a hundred copies (much more than will ever be picked up and read) apparently to make their presence known. The integrity part comes in when they stack their copies on top of the Dayton City Paper using DCP’s racks. The only innovative creation that Active Dayton can boast is The Party Crashers. Thinking back onto my partying days, I remember that people that crashed our parties usually got their ass beat and had to crawl under a pick-up truck to avoid having an empty keg bounced off of their head. Perhaps that’s just the kind of parties I attended. Anyway, Kerry Farley has been back in town for the last few months, steady at the helm of DCP. I really don’t think we’re going anywhere…but up.

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  12. David Esrati July 1, 2008 / 10:26 am

    JT- I agree Active Dayton is lame. However, they have a larger ad sales force, the potential for wider distribution, deeper pockets- and a lot more content to pull from.
    The fact that Mr. Farley is back in town- mostly relates to his not having anyone else to be his proxy after Adrienne left.
    Farley has almost always seemed like an absentee landlord- even if he really grabbed onto the paper with both hands, I don’t know if he has the tools or the assets to co-exist.
    I rarely have reason to pickup either publication anymore-
    the content of both could be much improved.

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