Ever since Phillip Anschutz purchased OPUBCO a few months back, we’ve heard rumors that Wimgo’s days were numbered. Well, that’s not the case anymore. According to the Ogle Mole network and other local media reports, it looks like OPUBCO is ending their social networking turned event calendar turned online directory turned event calendar again turned free Papa John’s pizza for everyone web experiment.
Wimgo is Wim-gone — or soon will be. OPUBCO Communications Group’s ill-fated online project is coming to an end, according to OPUBCO employees who asked not to be identified. OPUBCO officials informed Wimgo staffers on Dec. 6 that the company is pulling the plug on the operation, which began in February 2008.
Yeah, the most surprising part about this story isn’t that Wimgo is (almost) dead, but that OKC Biz actually broke a news story. I think the last time they did this was when they announced Whole Foods was moving to Oklahoma City. I hope this isn’t a new trend for them, because I like their profiles on local businesses and individuals who have hired good PR firms.
Anyway, back to Wimgo.
Yesterday, we shared a few Made-In-Oklahoma Christmas gifts that people could add to their Cyber Monday shopping carts. One of the items featured was a Young Jenni Carlson T-shirt Coffee Mug. We thought the idea was kind of funny and would make a great Christmas gift for that special someone who likes shitty sports columns and new nicknames for Bedlam.
Well, the Oklahoman didn’t think the mug was a very good gift idea. In fact, they kind of got mad about it. Check out this “cease and desist” email they sent to us:
According to FreeOnes.com, a website so not-safe-for-work that I won’t link to it, three of the 100 most “searched” porn stars in the world hail from the Oklahoma City Metro. They are:
You read that right. The most searched porn star living on our planet is Moore-native (and Westmoore graduate) Bibi Jones. How’d she earn this distinction? Well, she’s attractive, appeared on the cover of Hustler and claims to have had sex with numerous athletes. In fact, she recently made news in New England after a photo of her and a shirtless Patriots start tight end Rob Gronkowski appeared on Twitter.
Well, here’s something else we just learned about Bibi Jones. She was “used” by an agent for Phoenix-based Gaylord Sports Management to help land new clients. From Business Insider:
As we mentioned in an earlier post, Christy Everest announced today that OPUBCO — which includes the Oklahoman, NewsOK.com and, yes, even Wimgo.com — will be acquired by the Anschutz Group.
This news is surprising, but not too surprising. If anything, we probably should have seen it coming. In addition to the well publicized struggles of the newspaper industry, just look at some of the recent events that have taken place in the Dark Tower:
1. In response to sagging revenues, The Oklahoman began a series of massive layoffs in 2008. This resulted in many longtime (and loyal) employees losing their jobs or taking early retirement. OPUBCO also began cutting costs at all corners, eliminating delivery in remote areas and even closing their childcare facility.
3. In June, well-liked and well-respected Managing Editor Ed Kelley fled the Dark Tower for the zany Washington Times. Not soon after, Publisher David Thompson announced he was retiring. Both positions were filled with longtime OPUBCO Kool-aid drinkers Kelly Dyer Fry (Editor) Chris “Wimgo” Reen (President).
Knowing all that, I guess it’s not too surprising that the Gaylord family finally decided to cash out. You can’t blame them. I have no clue what the sales price is, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s in the billions. If someone offer me a billion – or $10,000 — for this website I’d probably take it.
Anyway, here are some other thoughts about this jaw dropping story:
That headline is no joke.
The Oklahoman Publishing Company (OPUBCO), which is the holding company for the Oklahoman, NewsOK.com and a bunch of other things, is being sold to the Anschutz Corporation.
For over 108 years the Gaylord and Dickinson families have controlled The Oklahoma Publishing Company, locally known as OPUBCO. According to Christy Everest, Chairman and CEO of OPUBCO, that will change in early October when all of the stock of OPUBCO will be sold to The Anschutz Corporation, owned by Denver-based businessman Philip Anschutz…
“Mr. Anschutz approached us with a unique offer in early June. Our Board of Directors had to consider his proposal seriously and from several different perspectives – that of our 254 supportive and patient shareholders, our thousands of employees, the communities in which we operate, the legacies of the Gaylord and Dickinson families, and the general wellbeing of OPUBCO itself. This transaction will not cause OPUBCO to disappear – rather, only the ownership will change. There are amazing similarities between the interests and conservative values of The Anschutz Corporation and those of OPUBCO,” said Mrs. Everest. “Mr. Anschutz’s stewardship of OPUBCO’s properties will carry the company’s 108 year history well into the future. His roots lie in ranching and oil and gas exploration, and his holdings have expanded into publishing and hotel properties. His interests are remarkably consistent with the interests developed by our family over the last three generations, right down to his love of the West and western values.”…
Commenting on the acquisition, Mr. Anschutz said, “I have enjoyed getting to know Christy Everest and her team. I am very pleased with this transaction and my new affiliation with the OPUBCO businesses and their respective communities, and I look forward to carrying on the legacy of excellence created by the Gaylord and Dickinson families.”…
All current employees of OPUBCO Communications Group, which publishes The Oklahoman and NewsOK.com, will maintain their normal responsibilities. Chris Reen will continue with his duties as President of the Communications Group and Publisher of The Oklahoman, and Vice President of News and Editor Kelly Dyer Fry will oversee news gathering. Mr. Anschutz has asked Mrs. Everest to remain on The Oklahoman’s editorial board. The Oklahoman will operate independently of any other newspapers owned by The Anschutz Corporation…
Well, this is colossal news. To put it simply, the Gaylord’s have finally sold out. And not only did the sell out, but they did so to one of the few people in this world that’s wealthier and more right wing than they are.
More thoughts coming very soon.
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