Oklahoma City News, Entertainment & Occasional Humor • Established 2007

Archive for The Oklahoman – Page 8

BREAKING NEWS: OPUBCO and the Oklahoman have been sold!!!

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.

From NewsOK:

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.

Breaking News: Light rain falling across parts of Oklahoma Thursday

I went to NewsOK.com this morning and stumbled across this breaking story. Dear God, what are we going to do:

A light rain started to fall across parts of Oklahoma Thursday morning.

And chances for more rain increased.

Sprinkles were seen in central Oklahoma, as the day started with a 60 percent chance of rain, the National Weather Service reports.

Wow. Rain and sprinkles. Follow us and NewsOK.com for more breaking news on this developing story.

BREAKING NEWS: Injured Kremlin teen crowned homecoming king

Via the locally owned Oklahoman, we have learned that an injured Kremlin teen has been crowned homecoming king.

Wearing his No. 78 red football jersey and with the aid of a wheelchair and a walker, Bryce Gannon made his way to the center of the football field for the announcement of this year’s homecoming king and queen.

Gannon, 17, who anchored the defensive and offensive lines at nose guard and center last year, and Tyler Zander, 17, each lost a leg after they became trapped Aug. 4 in an auger at Zaloudek Grain Co. Gannon was released from the Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation Center on Monday, but took a break from his therapy the previous Friday to attend his high school homecoming.

“He was just so excited to be there,” said Steve Hoffsommer, Kremlin-Hillsdale superintendent.

With lights flashing and sirens blaring, four Kremlin fire trucks escorted Gannon as he rode in a golf cart to the school.

“This was the first homecoming where all eyes were on the king,” Hoffsommer said. “Everybody was looking for him.”

Wow. This is crazy breaking news. Unless Steve Lackmeyer builds an army of food trucks, I can’t think of any other news item today that can top this. Stay tuned to The Lost Ogle for more breaking news on this story.

The Oklahoman is losing its reporters to ESPN…

Back in 2001 — right after OU won the National Championship — the Oklahoman published a commemorative book to celebrate the Sooners’ magical season. If I remember correctly, the book was hardcover and took a chronological look at the 2000 season. It included pictures of the games along with previously published Oklahoman game recaps

The book wasn’t anything too special. It was basically an easy way for the Oklahoman to make a dime on the new Renaissance of OU football hysteria that was sweeping the state, but it worked on me. I’m pretty sure I bought a copy for myself and one as a birthday present for my Grandpa. Boomer Sooner.

For some reason, I remember that Berry Tramel write a forward in the book. In his folksy, effortless prose, Berry explained the importance of OU football in our state. He wrote about how the paper prints more copies on the Sunday’s following games and how the outcome of a game can effect the psyche of the state on a Sunday morning. He also wrote that the Oklahoman’s OU football beat writer — a position that was then held by George Schroeder — may just be the most important job in the state.

Well, it looks like the OU football beat reporter is no longer the most important job in the state. Hell, it may not even be the best OU football reporting job in the state.

Expert Panel: Taking a look at the Ed Kelley era

Last week, Oklahoman Editor Ed Kelley announced he is leaving the “state’s most trusted news” to take over the editing duties of the Washington Times. This is kind of significant, considering Kelley has been the editor of the Oklahoman since 2003 and was the first person not from the powerful/polarizing Gaylord dynasty family to serve in that role.

During his tenure, Kelley helped navigate through a dynamic (and tumultuous) period in the industry. Internet and social media has radically changed the way news and information is relayed and delivered, while declining circulation and revenues have forced the Black Tower to layoff employees, close child care facilities and reduce their staff.

To get a perspective on Kelley’s stint as editor, we emailed to see if he would like to take part in a Q&A. He never replied.

Since we’re apparently not good enough to have Ed Kelley even gracefully decline an interview request, we went an alternate route. We emailed a list of questions to a panel of local journalism experts and pundits to get their take on the Ed Kelly era. Our panel of experts includes:

Dr. Joe Foote:  Dean and Chair of the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Oklahoma.

Arnold Hamilton: The editor of the Oklahoma Observer since September 2006 and a 32-year veteran of daily newspapers.  He is a former staff writer for the Dallas Morning News, the San Jose Mercury News, the Dallas Times Herald, the Tulsa Tribune and the Oklahoma Journal.

Dr. Kurt Hochenauer: Professor at the University of Central Oklahoma and publisher of the liberal political blog Okie Funk.

Mike McCarville: Longtime radio broadcaster, 2nd amendment activist and publisher of the conservative political blog The McCarville Report.

I’ll be honest with you, this was a fun little project to work on.  The panel members all have diverse and different backgrounds and political views, and it was interesting to see the differences (and similarities) in their answers.

Check it out after the jump:

PS: While working on this piece, OPUBCO announced that Publisher David Thompson will be leaving the paper in August. He will be succeeded by Chris “Wimgo” Reen…more on that later.