As a regular reader of this blog, you’re probably aware that I like to criticize The Oklahoman from time to time. Let’s be honest, it’s not too hard. If anything, it illustrates how insanely lazy I am:
“Hey Patrick, want to do something meaningful and productive with your life?”
“Nah! I’m just going to sit here and eat cheese, watch Comedy Central and mock The Oklahoman. After that, I’m going to play Madden in Rookie mode, boil an egg and make fun of the Oklahoma legislature.”
It really is too easy. This is a newspaper that employs Jenni Carlson, employed Zeke Campfield, endorsed Janet Barresi and exposed its own sad demise over coffee. They called Kevin Durant “Mr. Unreliable,” can’t even properly ripoff Buzzfeed, and despite having a well-deserved reputation as one of the most biased, vengeful and politically active newspapers in the country, they went with “The State’s Most Trusted News” as a marketing slogan, which then allowed us to mockingly call them “The State’s Most Trusted News” in every post where we expose how untrustworthy they are.
“The State’s Most Trusted News” thing has always cracked me up. If you want an example of The Oklahoman’s interpretation of “trusted news,” take a look at the paper’s highly publicized move back to downtown Oklahoma City.
On the surface, it looks like a positive event and the paper is reporting it as such. They’ve already had Boomer Tramel write an ode to the new offices, and earlier this week, the Editorial Board chimed in with this…
Thomas Wolfe had it wrong. You can go home again.
The Oklahoman did so these past two weeks, as we moved into our new office building downtown. After 24 years working at the tower located at Britton Road and the Broadway Extension, we’re now smack dab in the heart of this great city, at 100 W Main.
People who return to their childhood homes are always struck by how much smaller the place seems. The opposite is true in this case – downtown Oklahoma City is far bigger and better than it was when we pulled up stakes in 1991.
The main entrance to our building is on Robinson Avenue, across the street from the grand Colcord Hotel. The Devon Energy tower is just a little ways west of us. If they wanted, our sports writers and photographers could walk the one block to Chesapeake Energy Arena to cover the Thunder — neither the building nor the NBA team existed the last time we were here.
Across the street to our east are the Renaissance hotel and the Continental Resources headquarters, each new since last we worked downtown. The Skirvin Hotel, just up Broadway a few blocks, is bustling again. It was shuttered when we moved north.
The list of changes goes on and on. We’re delighted to add to it by returning home. We look forward to the city’s continued growth, and to many years of doing what we can to help make Oklahoma a better place to live, work and raise a family.
It really is a great narrative. The proud newspaper returning home to its urban roots at a growing city’s core. They have a new video board to show advertisements, fancy studios for David Morris to shoot videos, and nice fluorescent lighting. There’s even a “Timeline of Sadness” in the newsroom to remind employees of all the depressing tragedies they’ve covered over the years:
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:
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:
I guess I should begin this post with an apology.
For the most part, we try to avoid writing headlines that are coated in that much clickbait, but today I’m trying to impress the HR Department at The Oklahoman. They are hiring a copywriter who has significant experience in intentionally misleading readers through clickbait.
And no, I’m not making that shit up or exaggerating. They really want someone who can write clickbait headlines for the paper. Get your resume ready, KFOR Social Media Bandit.
Via the PRSA Job Line:
The buzzfeedification of NewsOK.com is not slowing down.
Over the weekend, the website published a list of “10 Famous Oklahomans, Then and Now.” Just like other recent clickbait attempts, such as the sappy “5 Things Only Oklahomans Would Understand” and incredibly boring “10 Facts About Oklahoma You Might Not Have Known,” the article has been plastered all over NewsOK.com and has received 40,000 views in the last 24 hours.
Since we also want to get a lot of page views, we decided to come up with a list of “10 Oklahoma Reporters, Now and Then.” It’s LOL adorable.
The post is part of our renewed commitment to ridicule and mock the The Oklahoman whenever possible. I think we’re going to do something like this as a response to all their awful clickbait, so next week when you see a post on here titled “10 Oklahoma Country Musicians Who Don’t Look Like Cats” or “You Won’t Believe What Happens When This Dog Reads a Jenni Carlson Column,” you’ll understand why.
Anyway, to the post. Here are 10 Oklahoman Reporters, Now and Then…
10. Boomer (Berry) Tramel
According to sources, Boomer Tramel didn’t smoke a lot of pot in college. He’s just one of those guys who permanently looks, acts, thinks, and speaks like he just rolled a joint in a gas station bathroom.
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