|Headquarters||Oklahoma City, Oklahoma|
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 experienced a drastic 42% circulation decline from 2007 to 2012. The Oklahoman has been published by Gannett (formerly known as GateHouse Media) owned by Fortress Investment Group and its investor Softbank since October 1, 2018. On November 11, 2019, GateHouse Media and Gannett announced GateHouse Media would be acquiring Gannett and taking the Gannett name. The acquisition of Gannett was finalized on November 19, 2019. Copies are sold for $1.5 daily or $3 Sundays/Thanksgiving Day; prices are higher outside Oklahoma and adjacent counties.
Audited circulation numbers published by The Oklahoman show that for the 12 months that ended Sept. 30, the newspaper had an average paid circulation of 92,073, which included both print and electronic copies. The electronic copies were responsible for 20,409 of that number, according to the Oklahoman article published Dec. 27, 2018.
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 for $12.5 million. Anschutz would retain OPUBCO and its remaining non-newspaper assets with lay-offs impacting management, reporters, and BigWing, The Oklahoman's digital marketing agency. The most recent sale of The Oklahoman 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. On Nov. 11, 2019 GateHouse Media and Gannett announced GateHouse Media would be acquiring Gannett and taking the Gannett name. The Gannett corporate merger/acquisition closed on November 19, 2019.  The November 20, 2019 (Volume 129,323) issue of The Oklahoman was the first to show Gannett as the copyright owner reflecting the rebranding of GateHouse Media to Gannett.
The Oklahoma Publishing Company (OPUBCO) which owned The Oklahoma until 2018, 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 Assurance 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 offices of The Oklahoman are located in leased office space downtown at 100 W. Main in the existing Century Center office building (connected to the Sheraton Hotel) in downtown Oklahoma City. Printing and production were halted at the existing facility on Broadway Extension and Britton Road as The Oklahoman began outsourcing printing press production to The Tulsa World in 2016.
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, and OPUBCO is no longer owner or affiliated with The Oklahoman since the 2018 sale. 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.
In 1939, Charles George Werner, a rookie political cartoonist at the newspaper, won the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning. The winning cartoon, "Nomination for 1938", depicted the Nobel Peace Prize resting on a grave marked "Czechoslovakia 1919-1938". Published on October 6, 1938, the cartoon bit at the recently concluded Munich Agreement, which transferred the Sudetenland (a strategically important part of Czechoslovakia) to Nazi Germany. Another notable cartoonist for the paper was Jim Lange, who worked for the paper for 58 years and produced over 19,000 cartoons.
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.
In October 2003, "The Daily Oklahoman" was renamed "The Oklahoman" with OPUBCO and future owner GateHouse Media officially retaining the registered trademarks of "The Daily Oklahoman", "The Sunday Oklahoman", and "The Oklahoma City Times" to this day.
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. As of November 2019, the development of the iPad app appears to have been abandoned with the last update published one month prior to the acquisition by GateHouse. Post-acquisition reviews of the app are largely negative.
On May 1, 2014, the sports section ran the headline "Mr. Unreliable" in reference to Kevin Durant's performance against the Memphis Grizzlies during the 2014 NBA Playoffs. The headlined drew national criticism. Sports Director Mike Sherman later issued an apology.
On June 3, 2020, the editorial board published an opinion piece about the George Floyd protests with the word "thuggish" in the headline. After considerable backlash, the editorial board issued an apology.
In 2016, the paper announced that it would lay off 130 employees and shut down its Oklahoma City printing plant. The newspaper outsourced printing and packaging work to the facility of the Tulsa World. Pre-production and layout services were sourced to the GateHouse Media owned Center for News and Design in Austin, Texas As of late 2018, the former production plant at Broadway Extension and Britton Road, at one time the largest newspaper printing facility in Oklahoma, had been razed by the site's new owner, American Fidelity Assurance.
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.
In December 2017, The Oklahoman launched a premium quarterly magazine titled The OK (pronounced 'oak'). This magazine was bundled with Sunday editions of The Oklahoman as well as distributed via newsstands. Each issue would cover a different topic including food, travel, or health with the final issue of the year being a photography centric issue. It appears The OK was discontinued in late 2018 with the final issue being released in December of that year.
Look At OKC was launched in 2006 as a weekly alt magazine to compete with the Oklahoma Gazette. It was distributed in free racks throughout the Oklahoma City metro area until it was quietly discontinued with the final issue being published June 28, 2018.
In November 2019, while attempting to merge the @NewsOK and @TheOklahoman Twitter handles, The Oklahoman lost control of both handles to an unknown third party. This forced the newspaper to begin using @TheOklahoman_ as its official Twitter handle.
September 27, 2018: Immediately following the announcement of the sale of The Oklahoman Media Company to GateHouse Media, publisher Chris Reen was replaced by interim publisher Jim Hopson.
December 18, 2018: Editor Kelly Dyer Fry was announced to replace Jim Hopson as publisher. She would also retain her roles as editor and vice president of news.
January 1, 2019: The newspaper again further reduced its circulation area resulting in the loss of home delivery service to 7,000 subscribers. Additionally, all newspaper vending machines including those located outside of The Oklahoman's corporate offices were removed. Oklahoma City, Edmond, Midwest City, Yukon, Piedmont, Norman, Moore, and Mustang would still receive regular home delivery service.
February 5, 2019: The print edition of The Oklahoman underwent its first redesign since 2008. This redesign was a cost-reduction measure to allow the paper to fit into GateHouse Media's existing template. Some noticeable changes included a different headline font and the relocation of the daily prayer from page 1 to page 2.
August 7, 2019: The Oklahoman rescinded a job offer it had made to a beat writer hired to cover Oklahoma State University athletics. The story gained significant attention among industry publications and was a prelude to a larger round of layoffs which would occur in the following week.
August 13, 2019: A round of layoffs occurred throughout GateHouse Media properties including 14 employees at The Oklahoman Both the news staff and the digital agency, BigWing, were impacted. These layoffs occurred in the week following GateHouse announcing its intent to acquire Gannett which resulted in a sharp decline in GateHouse's parent company's stock price as investors reacted to the announcement. Many media outlets speculated this round of layoffs to be a direct effort to increase stock prices and appease shareholders.
March 13, 2020: Parent company Gannett announced mandatory unpaid furloughs for the entire organization including The Oklahoman and its digital agency, BigWing. These furloughs were in response to declining revenues during the COVID-19 pandemic. Furloughs were announced as a "collective sacrifice" and scheduled to last through June 2020. Salary cuts were also announced, however, it is unclear how many in the organization were impacted.
April 24, 2020: Parent company Gannett quietly laid off staff from newspapers across the organization. The layoffs impacted The Oklahoman's newsroom including a writer, photographer, and sports journalist. It was unclear if these layoffs were planned following the acquisition of Gannett by GateHouse Media or in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
June 19, 2020: Parent company Gannett announced furloughs for reporters and visual journalists would end on July 6, 2020. Furloughs would continue for non-News divisions.
October 15, 2020: The editorial board announced it would no longer be endorsing political candidates. The main reason cited was a reduction in editorial board staff following the Gannett acquisition.