The Oklahoman

The Oklahoman
The Oklahoman front page.jpg
The Dec. 21, 2007, front page of
The Oklahoman
Type Daily newspaper
Format Broadsheet
Owner OPUBCO Communications Group
Publisher Chris Reen
Editor Kelly Dyer-Fry
Founded 1889
Headquarters 9000 North Broadway Ext, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73114  United States
Circulation 147,212(daily)
Official website

The Oklahoman is the largest daily newspaper in Oklahoma and is the only daily newspaper that covers the entire Oklahoma City area.



The newspaper was founded in 1889 by Sam Small and taken over in 1903 by Edward K. Gaylord. Gaylord would run the paper for 71 years. Upon his death, the paper was turned over to his son and later to his granddaughter. It was announced on September 15, 2011 that all OPUBCO assets would be sold to Denver based businessman Philip Anschutz and his Anschutz Corporation.[2] Upon closing in October 2011, OPUBCO is expected to remain independent in operation from the other Anschutz Corporation assets.


Founded in 1889 in Oklahoma City by Sam Small, The Daily Oklahoman was taken over in 1903 by The Oklahoma Publishing Company (OPUBCO), controlled by Edward K. Gaylord, also known as E.K. Gaylord. E.K. Gaylord died at the age of 101, having controlled the newspaper for the previous 71 years. Management of the newspaper passed to his son, Edward L. Gaylord, who managed the newspaper from 1974 to 2003. Christy Gaylord Everest, daughter of Edward L. Gaylord and granddaughter of E.K. Gaylord, is the company's current chairwoman and CEO. Gaylord Everest is assisted by her sister Louise Gaylord Bennett. A 1998 American Journalism Review survey acknowledged The Oklahoman's positive contributions as a corporate citizen of Oklahoma, but characterized the paper as suffering from understaffing, uninspired content, and political bias.[3] In 1999, the Columbia Journalism Review published an article calling The Oklahoman the "Worst Newspaper in America"; the CJR cited the paper's conformance to the right-wing political views of the Gaylord family, alleged racist hiring practices, and high costs of ads.[4] Syndicated columnist Joseph Farah countered [5] in 1999 by calling Columbia Journalism Review "easily the worst journalism review in America" and terming the article as "pure propaganda" and an attack on a conservative newspaper. In 2005, Sherrie Gossett wrote in "Accuracy in Media" [6] how Laura Vanderkam, in an article for D.C. Examiner, took CJR "to task over their hypocrisy." Gossett wrote Vanderkam, a contributing editor to Reader's Digest, pointed out that CJR "labeled" the newspaper "partly because the paper had no liberal columnists. Yet Vanderkam's search through the past few years' CJRs yielded no discernibly conservative writers in its pages, either." In more recent years OPUBCO Communications Group has won a number of awards for innovations, newspaper redesign, First Amendment coverage, sports coverage, and breaking news and indepth multimedia projects.[7]

In 1928, E. K. Gaylord bought Oklahoma's first radio station, WKY. More than 20 years later, he signed on Oklahoma's first television station, WKY-TV (now KFOR-TV). The two stations would be the anchors of a broadcasting empire that, at its height, included six television stations and five radio stations. Nearly all of the Gaylord broadcasting interests would be sold off by 1996, though The Oklahoman held onto WKY radio until 2002.

Until Feb. 29, 1984, OPUBCO published an afternoon daily newspaper, the Oklahoma City Times. It was folded into the Daily Oklahoman beginning with the March 1, 1984, issue. The Oklahoman was formerly available for delivery statewide, but in November 2008 it announced that it was reducing its circulation area to cover approximately two-thirds of the state (Oklahoma City and points west), and that it would no longer be available for delivery in Tulsa, Oklahoma's second-largest city. The change reduced the paper's circulation by about 7,000 homes.[8][9] In January 2009, The Oklahoman and the Tulsa World announced a content-sharing agreement in which each paper would carry some content created by the other; the papers also said they would "focus on reducing some areas of duplication, such as sending reporters from both The Oklahoman and the World to cover routine news events."[10] In 2010 The Oklahoman introduced the first iPad app for a newspaper/multimedia company of its size in the United States.[11][12]

In 1939, Charles George Werner, a rookie political cartoonist at the newspaper, won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial art. The winning cartoon, Nomination for 1938, depicted the Nobel Peace Prize resting on a grave marked Grave of Czecho-Slovakia, 1919-1938. Published on October 6, 1938, the cartoon bit at the recently concluded Munich Agreement, which transferred the Sudetenland (a strategically important part of Czechoslovakia) to Nazi Germany.[13] Another notable cartoonist for the paper was Jim Lange, who worked for the paper for 58 years and produced over 19,000 cartoons.[14]

Recent Awards

  • 2010 Society of News Design Award of Excellence: Redesigns/Overall Newspapers. [15]
  • 2010 National Association of Black Journalists Salute to Excellence New Media-Sports: Winner, Minister of Millwood. [16]
  • 2010, 2009 and 2007: Online News Association, Finalist, Breaking News [17] and General Excellence [18] [19].
  • 2010 Southern Newspaper Publishers Association: Best Website and six other awards in video, multimedia projects, local reporting and photography. [20]
  • 2009 Innovator of the Year: Associated Press Managing Editors (APME News/Winter 2009) [21]
  • 2009 Webby Award Official Honoree (Top 12 newspaper websites in world), International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. [22]
  • 2009 Public Service in Online Journalism, Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi Awards. [23]
  • 2009 First Amendment Award, Society of Professional Journalists. [24]
  • 2002-2009 Associated Press Sports Editors Top 10 or Top 20 in daily, Sunday and special sections and columns, features, breaking news and projects.[25]

News and Information Center Staff

  • Kelly Dyer-Fry, Editor
  • Kelly Dyer-Fry, Vice President of News & Information
  • Mike Shannon, Managing Editor (News)
  • Alan Herzberger, Managing Editor (Digital)
  • Joe Hight, Director of Information & Development
  • Robby Trammell, News Director
  • Doug Hoke, Director of Photography
  • Yvette Walker, Director of Custom Publishing, Presentation
  • Dave Morris, Director of Video
  • Todd Pendleton, Art Director
  • Clytie Bunyan, Business Editor
  • Rick Green, Local Editor
  • Mark Hutchison, Watchdog/Investigative Editor
  • Kimberly Burk, Breaking News Editor
  • J.E. McReynolds, Chief Editorial Writer
  • Matt Price, Features Editor
  • Amy Raymond, Senior News Editor
  • Linda Lynn, News Research Editor
  • Mike Sherman, Sports Editor
  • Don Gammill, Communities Editor

External links


  1. ^ Audit Bureau of Circulations (accessed February 15, 2010).
  2. ^ Randy Krehbiel, 'Colorado billionaire Philip Anschutz buys The Oklahoman, OPUBCO', in Tulsa World, 9/16/2011 [1]
  3. ^ James V. Risser, "State of the American Newspaper: Endangered Species", American Journalism Review, June 1998.
  4. ^ Selcraig, Bruce (1999). "The Worst Newspaper in America". Columbia Journalism Review. Retrieved 2008-07-21. 
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ OPUBCO Awards at The Oklahoman website (accessed December 1, 2010).
  8. ^ "The Oklahoman newspaper ends Tulsa delivery," Tulsa World, November 6, 2008.
  9. ^ Oklahoman redraws boundaries,The Oklahoman, November 6, 2008.
  10. ^ Joe Strupp, "Tulsa World, Oklahoman to Share Content," Editor & Publisher, January 23, 2009.
  11. ^ Damon Kiesow, "The Oklahoman offers subscription-based iPad app",, October 24, 2010.
  12. ^ Damon Kiesow, "Oklahoman circumvents iTunes store, keeps revenues",, November 16, 2010.
  13. ^ Heinz Dietrich Fischer & Erika Fischer, The Pulitzer Prize Archive, vol 13: Editorial Cartoon Awards, 1922-1997 (Walter de Gruyter, 1999), ISBN 978-3598301834, p. 70. Excerpt available at Google Books.
  14. ^ After 58 years, Lange Takes 'Early' Retirement", AAEC Editorial Cartoon News, December 5, 2008.
  15. ^ [2]
  16. ^ [3]
  17. ^ [4]
  18. ^ [5]
  19. ^ [6]
  20. ^ [7]
  21. ^ [8]
  22. ^ [9]
  23. ^ [10]
  24. ^ [11]
  25. ^ [12]

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