Labor shortage also affecting newspaper business; carriers are needed

Cox First Media, which operates the Dayton Daily News, Journal-News and Springfield News-Sun, is in need of carriers to deliver newspapers.

The company has five distribution centers, and it takes about 170 carriers to ensure promptly delivered newspapers, but Cox First Media is about 25 carriers short of being fully staffed, said Mike Burlingame, senior director of operations.

Openings are pretty evenly distributed among the distribution centers, he said.

“In addition to carriers, we also have a team of substitute carriers who deliver open routes and help us cover unexpected situations when carriers cannot deliver due to sickness or car troubles,” Burlingame said.

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With the company’s substitute team and staff resources, they are able to cover about 25 open routes, “but that typically means that some routes are delivered later than usual and we also struggle to fulfill special placement that some of our subscribers who have mobility issues request.”

Cox First Media carrier Terrence Griffin said for him, “it’s been a good job” for 11 years, and though it does allow him to be his “own boss,” it does come with its challenges.

Like any job that requires a vehicle, “you have to be very diligent with your repairs.”

It’s also a seven-day-a-week job. Then there are some unforeseen challenges, such as the weather southwest Ohio and the Miami Valley experienced at the end of last week.

To do the job, a carrier needs to have “a certain work ethic,” since there aren’t holidays off or paid vacation days, said Griffin.

“It’s not for everybody,” he said. “You have to be committed to getting up in that wee hours of the night when most people are sound asleep, and no matter what the weather condition is ― cold, hot, rainy ― and you have to get up and provide a quality service, as 90% of the carriers do.”

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The number of open routes for Cox First Media was lower through the last half of 2021, and from October to December, it was as low as 18 open routes at times. However, a spike of open routes after the holidays and in mid-winter is fairly common, Burlingame said.

But the 25 open routes is the company’s limit. Any additional open routes and it will be difficult to cover open routes unexpected issues, such as inclement weather or an emergency. Burlingame, though, said he’s hopeful to see improvements with the number of open carrier positions over the next several weeks.

Applying is as easy as a phone call to the application hotline number, 937-610-7552.

“People interested in being their own boss as an independent contractor, people already working but looking to earn extra some money during the early morning hours or retires looking to earn money while staying active could all find that being a carrier is a good fit for them,” Burlingame said.


Cox First Media, which owns the Dayton Daily News, Journal-News, and Springfield News-Sun, are seeking carriers to deliver the newspaper. To apply, call the application hotline number at 937-610-7552

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