- Esrati - https://esrati.com -

When the newspaper of public record- isn’t

Screen shot of public records notices in Dayton Daily News [1]

These are expensive ads.

Years back, A.J. Wagner looked at the amount of money the County was spending on required publication of public documents- court dockets, bid notices, sheriffs sales etc. and wondered if he couldn’t save money by buying ads in the freely distributed Dayton City Paper.

The local “newspaper” run by the billionaire Cox sisters cried foul. Apparently, the newsprint they print on is somehow more informative, more legal, regal and deserving of that public money.

They went to court. They won. The ads and the taxpayer money, went back to subsidizing our poor excuse for a paper.

This is something that could easily be replaced by a simple county wide website for public notices, that would cost less to run than what they spend in a day of the small print classified ads in the Dayton Daily.

Why am I railing about this today?

It’s been 4 weeks since my father, Stephen G. Esrati passed from this planet, and so far, not a mention of his demise in the death notices. He lived in Montgomery County, he died in Montgomery County at the Dayton VA hospice, and his body was sent to Greene County- to the Wright State School of Medicine. Not a word in the death notices, unless I really missed something. I picked up the death certificate over 3 weeks ago from the Reibold building. It’s on record.

Just not in our newspaper of record.

It’s time to save some money and stop pretending that the Dayton Daily news is doing us some kind of public service by publishing the page after page of legal notices. I’ve seen some days where the Sheriff’s sale pages take up more space than the Sunday Real Estate section. Why again are we paying for this?

For around $1500 a week, I could have a website that is searchable- with all the listings of public records, and print a 1000 booklets with the same info for those who want a printed copy. The Dayton Daily is probably taking in over $2500 a day on this.

Newspaper of record? Not in my book.

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David, that information is supplied through the funeral homes. It’s not picked up from death certificates. When there is a death that doesn’t involve funeral homes the family has to make contact themselves with the classified ad department.


Have you called the DDN to ask for an explanation of their process?

Bubba Jones

There is something in the ORC that regulates what paper you can publish Government related legal notices in.  I don’t remember the specifics of the law, but it has to do with the regularity that the newspaper is published (I think at least weekly) and the circulation numbers that the paper covers.  The law MIGHT stipulate PAID circulation as that can  be verified whereas the free, pick it up from the rack paper can’t have circulation that’s verified in a way to suit the law.


I know that our local zoning department just publishes the notices in the local, weekly paper.  It meets the ORC requirements and is also quite a bit cheaper.  The local paper is roughly $75 for the same ad that the DDN charges $241 for.  That sort of difference adds up fast!