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OPUBCO timeline

Oklahoman Published: September 18, 2011

1894: The Rev. Sam Small, a charismatic evangelist comes to Oklahoma City with the idea of establishing a newspaper. He selected a name — The Daily Oklahoman — and within the initial two weeks of publication announced the opening of offices at Guthrie, Perry, Norman, Ardmore, Yukon, El Reno and Newkirk, complete with local correspondents.

1900: The Oklahoman is purchased in March by Roy Stafford and W.T. Parker. Stafford then bought out his partner.

1903: Roy Stafford agrees to sell a minority interest in the newspaper to Edward K. Gaylord and two associates he brought with him from St. Joseph, Mo. — Ray Dickinson, an advertising man, and Roy McClintock, a news editor. In January 1903, The Oklahoma Publishing Co. was formed.

February 1903: Oklahoma City's first “extra” was printed, and the newspaper scored its first big scoop against its evening competition.

1907: The Oklahoman spearheaded the successful fight for statehood. Victory was declared, and Oklahoma City began to grow.

January 1909: The Oklahoman's building, including the pressroom, is badly damaged by fire. While the fire was still burning, E.K. Gaylord arranged to print The Oklahoman's next paper at The Times-Journal plant and the newspaper never missed an edition and still hasn't.

1909: After the fire, The Oklahoman moves to NW 4 and Broadway.

1910: The Oklahoman mounted a successful campaign to move the state capital to Oklahoma City.

1916: The Oklahoman bought its afternoon rival, the Oklahoma City Times, at a foreclosure auction for $35,000. The Gaylord family operated both newspapers for 68 years before finally merging the two in 1984.

1918: E.K. Gaylord becomes president of The Oklahoman in 1918 when Stafford sells his interest.

1928: The first licensed radio station west of the Mississippi is bought and renamed WKY. OPUBCO later established WKY-TV, the first TV station in Oklahoma.

1929: A production plant to house the presses was built.

1935: The Oklahoman and Times were among 14 charter subscribers to a new concept — a wirephoto service.

1936: Edward Lewis Gaylord started his first job with The Oklahoma Publishing Co., working in the parts department of the Mistletoe Express garage and was paid $2.50 a day.

1956: The Oklahoma Publishing Co. purchased WTVT in Tampa and St. Petersburg, Fla., in 1956.

1961: The company became the first newspaper in the world to use a computer to set type.

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