The Oklahoman is the largest daily newspaper in Oklahoma and is the only regional daily that covers the Greater Oklahoma City area. The Alliance for Audited Media (formerly Audit Bureau Circulation) lists it as the 59th largest U.S. newspaper in circulation.The Oklahoman, published since August 2018 by GateHouse Media circulation declined 42% in the 5 years from 2007 to 2012.
The newspaper was founded in 1889 by Sam Small and taken over in 1903 by Edward K. Gaylord. Gaylord would run the paper for 71 years. Upon his death, the paper was turned over to his son and later to his granddaughter. It was announced on September 15, 2011 that all Oklahoma Publishing Company (OPUBCO) assets, including The Oklahoman, would be sold to Denver based businessman Philip Anschutz and his Anschutz Corporation. The sale of OPUBCO to Philip Anschutz closed in October 2011, and the Oklahoma Publishing Company remained independent in operation. Other Anschutz owned newspapers include The Gazette (Colorado Springs) and The Washington Examiner. On September 27, 2018, it was announced that Anschutz had sold The Oklahoman Media Company to GateHouse Media while Anschutz would retain other OPUBCO and its remaining assets with lay-offs impacting staff. The transaction closed October 1, 2018, with the paper published October 2, 2018 (Volume 127,275) being the first to show GateHouse Media as the copyright owner. "
The Oklahoma Publishing Company (OPUBCO) was headquartered at NW 4 and Broadway in downtown Oklahoma City until 1991, when it moved to a 12 story tower at Broadway Extension and Britton Road in the northern part of the city. That building was sold to American Fidelity in 2012. Office space was then leased back to OPUBCO until plans were finalized for the company to move its headquarters. After a 23-year absence, The Oklahoman staff (and most OPUBCO employees) moved back to downtown Oklahoma City in early 2015. The new OPUBCO offices are located at 100 W. Main in the existing Century Center office building (connected to the Sheraton Hotel) in downtown Oklahoma City. The existing production facility on Broadway Extension and Britton Road did not move at the beginning of the new ownership, all production staff was scheduled for layoff and plant closing plans were announced in spring 2016.
Rendering of the renovated Century Center - the future home of the Oklahoma Publishing Co. This view is from Sheridan Avenue and Robinson Avenue.
Rendering of the renovated Century Center - the future home of the Oklahoma Publishing Co. This view is from Robinson Avenue and Main.
Founded in 1889 in Oklahoma City by Sam Small, The Daily Oklahoman was taken over in 1903 by The Oklahoma Publishing Company (OPUBCO), controlled by Edward K. Gaylord, also known as E. K. Gaylord. In 1916, OPUBCO purchased the failing Oklahoma Times and operated it as an evening newspaper for the next 68 years. E. K. Gaylord died at the age of 101, having controlled the newspaper for the previous 71 years. Management of the newspaper passed to his son, Edward L. Gaylord, who managed the newspaper from 1974 to 2003. Christy Gaylord Everest, daughter of Edward L. Gaylord and granddaughter of E. K. Gaylord, was the company's chairwoman and CEO until 2011. Christy Everest was assisted by her sister Louise Gaylord Bennett until the sale of the company in 2011 to Philip Anschutz. The current CEO of OPUBCO is Gary Pierson. Gary served as COO for OPUBCO under Christy Everest. In 2018 Philip Anschutz sold The Oklahoman Media Company portion of OPUBCO, which included The Oklahoman, NewsOK.com, BigWing and The Oklahoman Direct, to GateHouse Media marking the first time in the newspaper's history that it would be owned by a publicly traded company.
In 1928, E. K. Gaylord bought Oklahoma's first radio station, WKY. More than 20 years later, he signed on Oklahoma's first television station, WKY-TV (now KFOR-TV). The two stations would be the anchors of a broadcasting empire that, at its height, included six television stations and five radio stations. Nearly all of the Gaylord broadcasting interests would be sold off by 1996, though The Oklahoman held onto WKY radio until 2002.
The last edition of the evening Oklahoma Times was published on Feb. 29, 1984. It was folded into The Daily Oklahoman beginning with the March 1, 1984, issue. A 1998 American Journalism Review survey acknowledged The Oklahoman's positive contributions as a corporate citizen of Oklahoma, but characterized the paper as suffering from understaffing, uninspired content, and political bias. In 1999, the Columbia Journalism Review published an article calling The Oklahoman the "Worst Newspaper in America"; the CJR cited the paper's conformance to the right-wing political views of the Gaylord family, alleged racist hiring practices, and high costs of ads. In more recent years OPUBCO Communications Group has won a number of awards for innovations, newspaper redesign, First Amendment coverage, sports coverage, breaking news and in-depth multimedia projects.
The Oklahoman was formerly available for delivery statewide, but in November 2008 it announced that it was reducing its circulation area to cover approximately two-thirds of the state (Oklahoma City and points west), and that it would no longer be available for delivery in Tulsa, Oklahoma's second-largest city. The change reduced the paper's circulation by about 7,000 homes. In January 2009, The Oklahoman and the Tulsa World announced a content-sharing agreement in which each paper would carry some content created by the other; the papers also said they would "focus on reducing some areas of duplication, such as sending reporters from both The Oklahoman and the World to cover routine news events." In 2010, The Oklahoman introduced the first iPad app for a newspaper/multimedia company of its size in the United States.
2016 announcement of outsourcing, printing plant closing
In 2016, the paper announced that it would lay off 130 employees and shut down its Oklahoma City printing plant. The newspaper will be outsourcing its printing and packaging work to the more modern facility of the Tulsa World.
Drop in circulation
Like most U.S. newspapers, The Oklahoman has seen a decline of 42.3% in daily circulation and 34.8% drop in Sunday circulation from 2007 to the end of 2012. Figures from the Alliance for Audited Media (formerly Audit Bureau Circulation) show that daily subscriptions dropped from 195,399 to 112,733 and Sunday subscriptions dropped from 264,524 to 172,415.
2013 Heartland Regional Emmy Award (Commercial - Single Spot): Thunder Coverage Pictures in Motion
2012 NATIONAL PRESS PHOTOGRAPHERS REGION 7: Sarah Phipps, Bryan Terry and Chris Landsberger finished in the Top 10.
2012 AP-ONE (Associated Press-Oklahoma News Executives): The Oklahoman/NewsOK.com won four of the five major categories (General Excellence, first, for best newspaper; website, first, for NewsOK.com; Photo Sweepstakes: Chris Landsberger; New Journalist of the Year: Tiffany Gibson). Overall, 18 firsts and 37 total awards.
2012 SPJ: Bryan Dean won the First Amendment Award, and the NIC won 31 total awards, including 10 firsts, in the annual Society of Professional Journalists' Oklahoma Pro Chapter contest.