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Is the Dayton Daily News folding? Editor caught in questionable position!

Such a nice holiday present for the Dayton Gems professional hockey team from the worthless parasites at the Dayton Daily News, Front page “Are the Dayton Gems folding? B 1” and the headline, top of page on sports section “Gems owner fears IHL takeover.” [1]

Considering the paper couldn’t get a story in the Thanksgiving day paper about the game that ended at 9:45 on Wednesday- it’s amazing they can get this “blockbuster” story in today’s post Turkey day paper with their limited staff.

Yep- it’s filed by “David DiCenzo” a “contributing writer”- and it wasn’t available online until- oh, around 9:30 am.

The whole article refutes the claim from the league. What rookie owner Richard Bruner feels he brings to the table by sharing an e-mail that suggests that the league may take action is questionable, unless he’s looking for an excuse to scare investors off- and have a way to blame the Dayton Daily News if the rumors turn out to be true.

Sports marketing isn’t easy, especially on a shoestring budget. Many owners make the mistake of looking at UD Basketball or the Dayton Dragons and believe that they, too, can fill a house with fans. What they miss out is that both organizations have deep pockets. top-notch professional management, and unique customized facilities.

UD Arena was built for basketball. With it’s saddle-roof design that brings the roof down low over the court- it makes for a noisy building- with all the attention focused on the game. It’s the only facility I’ve been in that actually prevents people on one side in the nosebleed seats from seeing those sitting in pauperdom across the court from them.

The Dragons field is as near best-in-class as they come. Even the concessions are top-notch (even though staffed by “volunteers” instead of tax-paying employees). They effectively forced UD to up its game in decor and food service.

The Dayton Daily News apparently now also is home to the gurus of sports marketing- because they had the nerve to suggest that WSU drop their Division 1 men’s basketball ticket price to $5 today [2]. Considering that Men’s basketball funds the rest of the athletic department, a move like this would destroy the program. Even with sellouts every game, the $50K raised wouldn’t be enough to field a team. Plus, when your ticket price is that low, attending has no real meaning- “Honey, it’s snowing, we’ll skip the game- it’s only $20.” It’s a lesson that the Gems need to learn as well- with $5 tickets, free parking and $1 beer, the house was still more empty than full on Wednesday night.

Let’s get back to the Dayton Daily News folding- the headline of this article- yep, they fold the paper every day- otherwise it would be too big and flat to fit in their newspaper boxes. As to the editor being caught in a questionable position- we’ll see where this Gems story ends up.

But, I have a suggestion for the paper- since readership is dropping so much, maybe they start giving away the paper every day and see if they can make it up on volume…. sounds like a great business strategy, don’t you think?

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So who exactly are you upset with? The guy reporting what the owners told him, or what the league had to say, or the owner? Do you believe there is a story here?

The Gems are out of sight, out of mind. I have heard little about them. Is that the newspapers fault? Not sure, but it seems to me I don’t see them advertising anywhere. The would do better if they advertised, but of course that takes money.

Mark W

When I first moved to Dayton back in the ’80s I thought the DDNJH (I got there weeks after the Daily News and Journal-Herald were merged) was a pretty good paper for a mid-size city, other than it was a bit weaker on Big 10 and state government news than I was used to back in Iowa.  It seemed to “dumb down” a bit in the 15 years I lived there, but it was hardly alone among papers during that time.

Though I moved away in 2002, I return to Dayton regularly and pick up the paper when I do so.  On one of those return trips I found the paper had undergone severe changes.  The news articles are shallow and lack much substance, often adding little to the headlines.  The editorial page is even worse, with the local commentary showing little ability to argue their case well, and what appears to be any willingness to be provocative.   The presentation is terrible, and the paper has shrunk to something more typical of small town papers.  And they’ve got a higher daily price than most papers I’ve come across in my travels.

It’s gotten to the point where more often than not I now skip the DDN when I’m town.   They could lower their price, like they suggested for WSU, but with the current product, I doubt that alone would increase volume at this point. 


@ David,  the volunteers running the concession stands at the Dragons, UD  and WSU Basketball games are doing it as a fundraiser.  The funds earned during these events help non-profit organizations raise money for their organization.  As a band parent, I know not all parents are able to afford the fees associated with your child playing in the band (upwards of $750 plus uniforms).  These parents can work these events and help raise funds so their kid can play in the band.  The more your booth sells at an event the more you make.  A few of our church members got together one year and worked a few Dragons games to help pay for some medical needs of child with CP.  There are many other organizations that get involved with this type of fundraiser.  Most booths that are staffed by volunteers have a plaque that identifies what/who they are. 


@ DE, it was nice that you answered Brilliants question. Do you mind answering my questions, or do you pick and choose?


Speaking as someone who has been involved with the “volunteers” at Dragons games, it is also a way to pay workers less that minimum wage…
My charitable organization finally dropped out of this fundraising “opportunity” because of the way we were treated. Yes, we were volunteers earning less that minimum wage for our organization… and if we weren’t also treated like crap by the Dragons and Dayton Sports Service, we might have been willing to continue.


And yes, Gene did have a fair question… You have a justified bias against the DDN, but I don’t see where they “failed” on this story.


I have gone back and forth on these “volunteers” at UD and DD games. Although the staff is untrained, they generally make up in the number of volunteers so the service does not suffer too much. But should UD/DD be required to actually hire people to do this? It is a “part” part-time job that would not pay that much. Hiring high school students seems like a good idea at first, then when you are managing them or if you are a customer it becomes immediately obvious that high school students are just that, and don’t give a shit most of the time. Any number of “parties/family problems” can come up with high school students and boom, you are out staff for the game. I am not sure if it is beneficial for UD/DD to hire people who are known to do a poor job/not show up. I am not trying to be mean but there is a certainly reality to this situation. At least when you get volunteers you have a team of adults that show up.

I have experience with this as I was hired to do Reds games years ago. Not enough staff (age and pay were the major factors, plus the work was inconsistent) and now they have a bunch of volunteers as well.

DE, you said it was written in the “contract” that they would hire high school students. Where can we find this info?


In all my years as a restaurant manager, both in downtown and in a ‘burb, none of my employees ever required a ‘health department check’. I’d be interested in learning how much the Dragons donate to the ‘volunteers’ who staff the foodservice area, compared to what minimum wage and the associated costs would be if they hired HS students.


They make around $30 per volunteer per evening… the volunteers often work 5-6 hours, so we’re talking less than $6 per hour. More if you have a good night and sell lots of extra beer and hot dogs.