It's the end of an era and the beginning of a new one.
As far back as any Oklahoman can remember — even before there was a state of Oklahoma — a Gaylord was publishing a newspaper here.
Through frontier violence, the Great Depression, the advent of radio and television, oil booms, oil busts and the dawning of the digital age, a Gaylord has been in control.
All that — more than 108 years and three generations of Gaylord family newspaper ownership — will come to an end one day this October when ownership of The Oklahoma Publishing Co. officially transfers to The Anschutz Corp., a diverse conglomerate owned by Denver businessman Philip Anschutz.
OPUBCO Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Christy Everest told employees of the ownership transfer Thursday.
Everest told the employees this was a once in a lifetime opportunity for the Gaylord family to sell the business to another family with nearly identical values and much greater
Community leaders shared Everest's optimism this week, but also expressed more than a little sadness at what will be going away.
“The thing I think about with the Gaylord family is their complete and total dedication to making Oklahoma the best it could be,” said Robert Henry, president of Oklahoma City University. “They always strived to improve the city. It's a wonderful legacy. ... One can't help but be a little sad.”
David Dary, former head of the journalism department at the University of Oklahoma and author of a book about the Gaylord family, said the pending sale “really marks the end of an era.”
“I think what struck me the most was the completeness with which they covered the state,” he said.
OU President David Boren said the sale announcement has brought a “flood of memories of the many contributions of the Gaylord family, which helped build our state.”
“For more than a century their charitable gifts have created and sustained some of the most important institutions in our state, including universities, medical facilities, organizations which help those in need and those which support the creative arts,” Boren said. “The latest example of the impact of this family is the building of a new cancer center for all Oklahomans.”
But Boren said if the Gaylord family's publishing era had to come to an end, he could “think of no better person to take up their legacy than Philip Anschutz.
“I've had the privilege of knowing him for many years,” Boren said.
“Philip Anschutz, like the Gaylord family, is widely known as a philanthropist dedicated to helping the communities in which he is involved. He is truly a public-spirited
Their charitable gifts have created and sustained some of the most important institutions in our state.”
OU President David Boren