The Oklahoman is the largest daily newspaper in Oklahoma and is the only daily newspaper that covers the entire Oklahoma City area. The Gaylord family owns the newspaper, which helped build a multi-billion dollar fortune.
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.
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. 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, is chairman and chief executive for the Oklahoma Publishing Company, which publishes The Oklahoman. Gaylord Everest is assisted by her sister Louise Gaylord Bennett. 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. Syndicated columnist Joseph Farah countered in 1999 by calling Columbia Journalism Review "easily the worst journalism review in America" and terming the article as "pure propaganda" and an attack on a conservative newspaper. In 2005, Sherrie Gossett wrote in "Accuracy in Media" how Laura Vanderkam, in an article for D.C. Examiner, took CJR "to task over their hypocrisy." Gossett wrote Vanderkam, a contributing editor to Reader's Digest, pointed out that CJR "labeled" the newspaper "partly because the paper had no liberal columnists. Yet Vanderkam's search through the past few years' CJRs yielded no discernibly conservative writers in its pages, either." In more recent years OPUBCO Communications Group has won a number of awards for innovations, newspaper redesign, First Amendment coverage, sports coverage, and breaking news and indepth multimedia projects.