If scoring 29 points and hitting the game winning shot on a left handed layup is not enough to make your name known to The Oklahoman, what would Byron Eaton have to do?
Apparently, laying off a bunch of employees was not enough to get The Oklahoman out of the red. Now, they are taking further steps to make themselves into the profitable media Goliath they fashion themselves to be. They are cutting benefits for those that remain.
Thanks to an Ogle mole, we have obtained the following memo which details the closing of the OPUBCO Child Daycare Center. Here is what it says:
January 26, 2009
OPUBCO Child Development Center Families
Despite the rate increases that went into effect July 1, 2008, OPUBCO budgeted approximately $150,000 to subsidize the operations of the OPUBCO Child Development Center (“Center”) during 2009. Given the state of the economy, we have made the difficult decision to close the Center effective July 3, 2009. This decision was not made lightly or without a great deal of consideration to the impact it will have on each family, but we simply cannot continue to subsidize the Center’s operations. It is our hope that by providing this advance notice, you will have sufficient time to locate a quality alternative for your child(ren) beginning July 6, 2009.
If you have any questions about the information contained in this letter, please feel free to give me a call at 475-4016 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. On behalf of OPUBCO, please accept our apologies for the concern and inconvenience this decision may cause. We wish the best for your child(ren)’s pre-school care and education.
Vice President of Human Resources
The real shame of this, aside from many excellent early childhood educators being laid off, is that the center was one of the best daycare options in the state. Now, the parents of a hundred some odd newborns to five year olds are scrambling to find day time supervision for their children that at least rivals the quality the ladies at OPUBCO’s CDC provided.
And to save, what, $150,000?** You can bet that Christy Gaylord Everest’s salary won’t be among the things they considered to relieve their hemorraging income statement. She’ll continue to make her ridiculously high salary which she earns simply by maintaining her maiden name. The company could save twice that if they halved the amount budgeted for Christy to buy foam fingers at OU games held at Gaylord Family Stadium. You can also rest assured that the executives of the paper will not be forgoing their uber-suite at the Ford Center.
With those golden calves protected, here are some other cuts The Oklahoman has considered in their efforts to become profitable again.
Rumors have been circulating about this for awhile, but it looks like The Oklahoman and Tulsa World are finally going to announce a partnership where they will start sharing content. There has yet to be any word on if they are going to start sharing other things like wives, power tools or pirated versions of Office 2007. From a statement/press release/story that will probably appear in tomorrow’s Oklahoman:
News organizations to cooperate
Oklahoma’s two largest news organizations, The Oklahoman and the Tulsa World, announced Thursday they will share selected stories, photos and other news content to better serve their audiences throughout the state.
The agreement means some content produced by The Oklahoman’s staff will appear in the World and on the World’s Web site, TulsaWorld.com. Likewise, some news content produced by the World’s staff will appear in The Oklahoman and on NewsOK.com.
Stories and photos produced by one organization and published by the other will carry attribution to the contributing newspaper or Web site.
Ed Kelley, The Oklahoman’s editor, said the collaboration provides more coverage of news in Oklahoma for the organizations’ audiences at an uncertain time for the news industry. Both The Oklahoman and the World have terminated newsroom positions the past four months as part of cost-cutting measures.
Over time the two organizations will focus on reducing some areas of duplication, such as sending reporters from both The Oklahoman and the World to cover routine news events.
“We want to try to make sure the level of coverage doesn’t drop even as our staffs are smaller,” Kelley said. “Partnering with the World and their professionals makes a lot of sense for both of us.”
“We are excited at the quality and breadth of journalism that can be done by combining the two largest newsgathering operations in the state,” said Joe Worley, executive editor of the Tulsa World.
Both Kelley and Worley said the two organizations will maintain their separate voices on their editorial and opinion pages, as well as their individual approaches to gathering news.
As much as I want to complain about this, it actually seems like the smart thing to do. It’s basically the newspaper equivalent of the Oklahoma Sports Blitz, only we don’t get John Holcomb incessantly gazing into the eyes of Dean Blevins.
I guess the only thing that really sucks about the deal is that we are going to have to continue to live with The Oklahoman’s biased editorial and political coverage, but we’ll live with it. And that’s not even too bad of deal, because it still gives us some easy material to criticize. Maybe they’ll combine their sports departments, too, and we’ll finally get good sports stuff to read like Dave Sittler and The Picker.
If laying-off 100+ people didn’t convince you that OPUBCO was going through some tough times, just check out page 5A of the Sunday Oklahoman. On it, you’ll notice a full page ad promoting some interesting products OPUBCO is selling to help you “commemorate Obama’s inauguration.”
The best item, by far, is a $20 “keepsake t-shirt” that will “show a full-color reproduction” of the front page from Wednesday’s Oklahoman. From the website where you can buy the shirt:
Celebrate a moment in time and own a piece of history with these collectible, one-of-a-kind tees and posters featuring the Wednesday January 21, 2009 front page commemorating Barack Obama’s history-making Presidential Inauguration.
The Oklahoman is making a tee-shirt to commemorate Obama’s inauguration? What’s next, classified ads for “sensual massages” on the back pages?
Seriously, OPUBCO hocking stuff that commemorates the election of a Democrat president seems a little weird. It would be like us having a big party and letting Wimgo be the sponsor, or The Gazette selling pro-life coffee mugs. It just doesn’t make sense. That’s why I wouldn’t be surprised if the big article on Wednesday’s front page is an unattributed editorial on tort “reform” or a feature on Glenn Coffee, and the stuff about the actual inauguration is buried in the bottom left corner with the headline “Obama Sworn-In; Nation Mourns.”
Earlier this week, we were emailed a couple of PDFs that showed the “Top 100 Blogs” at NewsOK.com. The blogs were sorted by page view statistics, and were sent via two different emails from Web Editor Nick Tankersley. The first one showed blogs 1-50, while the second contained blogs 51-100. This second email also contained this uplifting message:
Here is the list continued for those of you who didn’t see your blog in the top 50. Remember, many of the top blogs have been active since January.
Seriously, was the second email even warranted? Nick makes it seem like some sad little NewsOK writer couldn’t find their blog in the Top 50 and wanted to know where they stood. Something tells me that somebody was either Mr. Monday or this creepy guy, who until today wrote the 99th most visited blog at NewsOK.
When you look at the stats, you learn that all the NewsOK blogs combined have received about 1.5 million page views over the past year. During that same time span, we have had about 1.3 million page views. Granted, we’re about 200,000 off, but I think it’s neat (and possibly sad) that a little blog created by three idiots can get about as much traffic as 100 blogs backed by the state’s leading provider of news and information.
Anyway, enough of my ego boosting rambling, here are the Top 10 most viewed blogs (per page views) at NewsOK. (To view the complete list of 100, click here.)
1. BAM’s Blog “¢ 215,756 Page Views
2. Berry Trammel’s Blog “¢ 144,920 Page Views
3. OKC Central “¢ 128,299 Page Views
4. Nerdage Blog “¢ 127,641 Page Views
5. NBA in OKC “¢ 87,962 Page Views
6. OU Sooners “¢ 81,617 Page Views
7. OSU Cowboys “¢ 48,939 Page Views
8. Television Blog “¢ 42,813 Page Views
9. High School Sports Blog “¢ 40,985 Page Views
10. Parties Extra! “¢ 40,598 Page Views
After the jump, check out our two cents on the Top 10, what we think about the Top 100, and how awesome we think it is that The Ladies Room came in at Number 69.
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