The Dec. 21, 2007, front page of
|Owner||OPUBCO Communications Group|
The Oklahoman is the largest daily newspaper in Oklahoma and is the only daily newspaper that covers the Greater Oklahoma City area. The Alliance for Audited Media (formerly Audit Bureau Circulation) lists The Oklahoman as the 51st largest U.S. newspaper in circulation. The Oklahoman lost 42.3% of daily circulation in the 5 years from 2007 to 2012.
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. Upon closing in October 2011, OPUBCO is expected to remain independent in operation from the other Anschutz Corporation assets. The headquarters office on Britton Road in Oklahoma City was sold in 2012 and the newspaper staff will be moving downtown to leased office space with assistance from a municipal grant for tenant improvements for a dramatic architectural redevelopment of existing Century Center.
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. 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. 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, and breaking news and indepth multimedia projects.
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.
The last edition of the evening Oklahoma Times was published on Feb. 29, 1984. 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. 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 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. Another notable cartoonist for the paper was Jim Lange, who worked for the paper for 58 years and produced over 19,000 cartoons.
Like many U.S. newspapers, The Oklahoman has seen a rapid drop of 42.3% decline in daily circulation and 34.8% drop in Sunday circulation from 2007 to the end of 2012. Figures from the Alliance for Audited Media (formerly Audit Bureau Circulation) show that daily subscriptions dropped from 195,399 to 112,733 and sunday subscriptions dropped from 264,524 to 172,415.
Oklahoman prices are $0.75 daily & $2 Sunday/Thanksgiving Day.
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