|Headquarters||Oklahoma City, Oklahoma|
The Oklahoman is the largest daily newspaper in Oklahoma, United States, and is the only regional daily that covers the Greater Oklahoma City area. The Alliance for Audited Media (formerly Audit Bureau Circulation) lists it as the 59th largest U.S. newspaper in circulation.
The Oklahoman has been published by Gannett (formerly known as GateHouse Media) owned by Fortress Investment Group and its investor Softbank since October 1, 2018. On November 11, 2019, GateHouse Media and Gannett announced GateHouse Media would be acquiring Gannett and taking the Gannett name. The acquisition of Gannett was finalized on November 19, 2019.
Copies are sold for $2 daily or $3 Sundays/Thanksgiving Day; prices are higher outside Oklahoma and adjacent counties.
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, and upon his death, the paper remained under the Gaylord family.
It was announced on September 15, 2011 that all Oklahoma Publishing Company (OPUBCO) assets, including The Oklahoman, would be sold to Denver-based businessman Philip Anschutz and his Anschutz Corporation. The sale of OPUBCO to Philip Anschutz closed in October 2011, and the Oklahoma Publishing Company remained independent in operation. Other Anschutz owned newspapers include The Gazette (Colorado Springs) and The Washington Examiner.
In 2018, Anschutz sold The Oklahoman Media Company portion of OPUBCO to GateHouse Media for $12.5 million,. which included The Oklahoman, NewsOK.com, BigWing and The Oklahoman Direct, marking the first time in the newspaper's history that it would be owned by a publicly-traded company.
On November 11, 2019, GateHouse Media and Gannett announced GateHouse Media would be acquiring Gannett and taking the Gannett name. The Gannett corporate merger/acquisition closed on November 19, 2019. The November 20, 2019 (Volume 129,323) issue of The Oklahoman was the first to show Gannett as the copyright owner,m reflecting the rebranding of GateHouse Media to Gannett.
The Oklahoman' offices are located at 100 W. Main in the Century Center office building, connected to the Sheraton Hotel, in downtown Oklahoma City. In 2021, The Oklahoman's staff vacated the newsroom for renovations after the Griffin family, who owns Griffin Communications, purchased the building. The Oklahoman will rent part of the space from the new owners.
The Oklahoma Publishing Company (OPUBCO) which owned The Oklahoma until 2018, was headquartered at NW 4 and Broadway in downtown Oklahoma City until 1991, when it moved to a 12-story tower at Broadway Extension and Britton Road in the northern part of the city. That building was sold to American Fidelity Assurance in 2012. Office space was then leased back to OPUBCO until plans were finalized for the company to move its headquarters.
After a 23-year absence, The Oklahoman staff (and most OPUBCO employees) moved to the office’s current location in downtown Oklahoma City in early 2015. In 2016, printing and production at the facility on Broadway Extension and Britton Road was shifted to The Tulsa World and the Oklahoman facility closed. As part of the closure, 130 employees were laid off, and pre-production and layout services were sourced to the GateHouse Media-owned Center for News and Design in Austin, Texas. The former production plant at Broadway Extension and Britton Road was razed by the site's new owner, American Fidelity Assurance, and as of 2021, new construction and development was taking place in the area.
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. In 1916, OPUBCO purchased the failing Oklahoma Times and operated it as an evening newspaper for the next 68 years.
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.
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, was the company's chairwoman and CEO until 2011. Christy Everest was assisted by her sister Louise Gaylord Bennett until the sale of the company in 2011 to Philip Anschutz.
In October 2003, The Daily Oklahoman was renamed The Oklahoman with OPUBCO and future owner GateHouse Media officially retaining the registered trademarks of The Daily Oklahoman, The Sunday Oklahoman, and The Oklahoma City Times to this day.
In November 2008, The Oklahoman announced that it was reducing its circulation area to cover approximately the western two-thirds of the state, rather than statewide. This shift halted delivery in Tulsa, which reduced the paper's circulation by about 7,000 homes.
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."
In 2010, The Oklahoman introduced the first iPad app for a newspaper/multimedia company of its size in the United States.
In 2018, publisher Chris Reen was replaced by interim publisher Jim Hopson. Later that year, editor Kelly Dyer Fry was announced to replace Hopson as publisher. She retained her roles as editor and vice president of news. Dyer Fry retired in November 2020, and in 2021, Ray Rivera was named the new executive editor of The Oklahoman. He also oversees Gannett's Sunbelt region, which encompasses some 42 daily and weekly newspapers in Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado.
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. 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. In more recent years OPUBCO Communications Group has won a number of awards for innovations, newspaper redesign, First Amendment coverage, sports coverage, breaking news and in-depth multimedia projects.
On May 1, 2014, the sports section ran the headline "Mr. Unreliable" in reference to Kevin Durant's performance against the Memphis Grizzlies during the 2014 NBA Playoffs. The headlined drew national criticism. Sports Director Mike Sherman later issued an apology.
On June 3, 2020, the editorial board published an opinion piece about the George Floyd protests with the word "thuggish" in the headline. After considerable backlash, the editorial board issued an apology.
The last edition of the evening Oklahoma City Times was published on Feb. 29, 1984. It was folded into The Daily Oklahoman beginning with the March 1, 1984 issue.
Look At OKC was launched in 2006 as a weekly alt magazine to compete with the Oklahoma Gazette. It was distributed in free racks throughout the Oklahoma City metro area until it was quietly discontinued, with the final issue being published on June 28, 2018.
In December 2017, The Oklahoman launched a premium quarterly magazine titled The OK (pronounced 'oak'). This magazine was bundled with Sunday editions of The Oklahoman, as well as distributed via newsstands. Each issue would cover a different topic including food, travel, or health, with the final issue of the year being a photography-centric issue. It appears The OK was discontinued in late 2018, with the final issue being released that December.
In November 2019, while attempting to merge the @NewsOK and @TheOklahoman Twitter handles, The Oklahoman lost control of both handles to an unknown third party. This forced the newspaper to begin using @TheOklahoman_ as its official Twitter handle.
Audited circulation numbers published by The Oklahoman show that for the 12 months that ended September 30, the newspaper had an average paid circulation of 92,073, which included both print and electronic copies. The electronic copies were responsible for 20,409 of that number, according to the Oklahoman article published December 27, 2018.
In 1939, Charles George Werner, a rookie political cartoonist at the newspaper, won the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning. The winning cartoon, "Nomination for 1938", depicted the Nobel Peace Prize resting on a grave marked "Czechoslovakia 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.
Another notable cartoonist for the paper was Jim Lange, who worked for the paper for 58 years and produced over 19,000 cartoons.
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