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The Oklahoman lays off 18 employees. Newsroom hit hard.

oklahoman subscriber

When your target audience looks like the group above, layoffs shouldn’t be too surprising.

Earlier this morning, I received an email via the Ogle Mole Network that claimed “The State’s Most Trusted News” was about to go through another series of layoffs.

Here’s the email:

another RIF today.

17 souls lost their jobs. 22 total positions eliminated.
From a custodian to 4 pressmen, and the NIC was hit the hardest.

Just shows that the almighty Dollar means more to Mr. Anschutz than the Almighty’s children.

First of all, NIC is the journalism lingo for newsroom. Second, if you’re an intern for The Oklahoman and are handed a broom and mop, I guess we know why.

After receiving the email, I checked with some of my Moles at OPUBCO – Jenni Carlson, Nolan Clay and Richard ViralNovaBuzzfeedHall, just to name a few – who all confirmed that some layoffs were taking place, but they couldn’t provide any other details.

So, I sent an email to Oklahoman Editor-In-Chief Kelly Dyer Fry and Publisher / President Chris Reen to see if they would issue a statement or confirm the news. They didn’t, but… we aquired through the Ogle Mole Network this email that Chris Reen sent to OPUBCO employees earlier today.

Here are some screenshots:

Based on last night’s post game, Russell Westbrook still doesn’t like Berry Tramel…

tramel westbrook

Last night’s Thunder game was your typical boring mid-January affair. You had a the hapless Timberwolves playing the Durantless Thunder in a lifeless Chesapeake Arena. To quote the only Ben Folds song I like, the whole thing was like watching a “Battle of Who Could Care Less.” It was about as fun and uplifting as hanging out with the girl from “The Brink.”

That should show you how bad last night’s game was. It has me referencing Ben Folds songs. If I bring up Eagle Eye Cherry tomorrow, you’ll know something strange is up.

Even though the game royally sucked, the post game festivities didn’t disappoint. This was OKC’s first home contest since Russell Westbrook shared his feelings on Berry Tramel, and Berry Tramel then shared his feelings on Russell Westbrook. That means we finally got to see Russ and Berry interact in the locker room.

In case you forgot, this is what Foreman Berry wrote about Russell’s comments before The Oklahoman editors grabbed their red ink pens:

Familiarity breeds contempt. I get that. But Friday night, in a game the Thunder desperately needed, Westbrook had a game for the ages. And he was mad at the world. Not just me. Mad at everybody. And when he no-answers The Oklahoman and the Thunder website and Channel 5 and The Sports Animal, he’s showing his complete disregard for fans. We’re not there to get our jollies. We’re there because we all have customers intensely interested in the Thunder. The people who buy tickets and the people who watch the games on television so that the Thunder can sell commercials and pay the bills.

When Russell Westbrook says “good execution” to every question, what he’s really saying to the fans is, “I don’t like you.”

I still can’t believe The Oklahoman edited out that last line. Was it a baseless, idiotic conclusion? Yes, but then again, what else do you expect from a sports column in the The Oklahoman?

After last night’s game Russ was standing by his locker meeting with the media. Berry Tramel was to his immediate right. While answering a question about the Thunder bench, Russ paused in mid-sentence and looked off into the distance as if he was collecting his thoughts or watching two girls kiss. One of the two.

After a few seconds of silence, Berry chimed with another question and, well, things then got awkward:

9 Things Dish Network subscribers missed while News 9 was away…

Over the weekend, News 9 and Dish Network settled their contract dispute. The news was applauded by everyone, except for the people who like to complain about things on the Channel 9 Facebook page.

Here’s David Payne with the big announcement:


I’m still trying to figure out details of the settlement, but the big winners were News 9 and Dish Network, who both still get to charge people for something they can get free with an antenna. The losers were Dish Network subscribers who get CBS programming returned to their televisions and the guy at Channel 9 whose job it was to put “Dish Has Pulled News 9″ announcements on the scrolling news feed. He suddenly has less job security.

The tiff between News 9 and Dish lasted for 9 days. As a service to our Dish Network readers, I thought it would be nice to touch base on what they may have missed:

david payne shirt

1. David Payne wore a bedazzled sequined shirt to the Garth Brooks concert

Someone sent me this pic of David Payne waiting in the concession line at the Garth Brooks concert on Friday, January 16th. He’s sporting his newest bedazzled wing shirt that he got from Penney’s in 2009.

lacey swope big

2. Lacey Swope competed in a triathlon

No word on whether you can invite her to your pool party.

The Oklahoman also removed some lighthearted death penalty clickbait…

oklahoman dark tower

Award-winning sports columnist Berry Tramel isn’t the only Oklahoman writer who’s had deal with “link” problems. In fact, “The State’s Most Trusted News” has a solid history of quickly removing or retracting content that was once published.

If you remember correctly, the paper retracted a front page piece in 2013 after they outed some county officials for taking advantage of very legal, yet somewhat unethical, real estate tax loopholes. Apparently, the article upset the local political power structure, which is a no-no for the paper that loves nothing more than to cater to it.

Then on December 12th, 2014, Jenni Carlson penned a typical Jenni Carlson column about the domestic violence charges filed against Oklahoma State’s Tyreke Hill. I’m not sure how or why we forgot to mention this when it happened, but the paper removed the column and then replaced it later in the day with something totally different. Here are the screenshots of the column as it was originally published (1 & 2). Old Tony said it’s one of the worst things he’s ever read. Here’s a link to the updated piece. They’re totally different, but on a positive note, at least NewsOK.com finally removed something written by Jenni Carlson.

I bring up all these past examples because The Oklahoman pulled another article from its website over this past weekend. This time, the victim of “link problems” was a light-hearted, casual and so very clickable slideshow that took a look at the “interesting” last meals convicted murderers in Oklahoma scarfed down before being executed by a state government.

Here’s a screenshot of the write up:

The Oklahoman has proven that bigger isn’t always better…

Yesterday afternoon, the day after their sports department was widely criticized around the country for how they handled Berry Tramel’s edited, link-troubled column about Russell Westbrook’s “I don’t like you” dig, NewsOK.com plastered the following ad for their sports department all over the site. I’m sure it was just a coincidence, and had nothing to do with crisis management:

newsok ad

As a bad Seinfeld impersonator would say, who’s the ad genius that came up with that one?

I guess the message they’re trying to convey is The Oklahoman’s local sports coverage is the best because they have the biggest sports team in the state. As a guy who gets most of his Thunder news from DailyThunder.com, I would totally agree. As I tell my lovers, bigger is alway better. It’s why McDonald’s cooks the best hamburgers, Walmart sells the best groceries, and the Blue Whale is everyone’s favorite animal.

I also like how the OPUBCO copywriters brag about how the sports department delivers “more stories, more content and more insight” than anyone else. Yeah, isn’t that the truth. Who doesn’t read a Jenni Carlson column in the morning and scream “Wow. What amazing insight?!” before taking their pills and masturbating to anime porn. Seriously, insight in The Oklahoman? That would be like us saying we provide more courteous, thoughtful and respectful commentary than anyone.

Anyway, this gave me an idea. We should have one of those Photoshop contest things where we create our own fake ads for the The Oklahoman sports department.

Here are a few examples I rushed out