schutz said, “I have enjoyed getting to know Christy Everest and her team. I am very pleased with this transaction and my new affiliation with the OPUBCO businesses and their respective communities, and I look forward to carrying on the legacy of excellence created by the Gaylord and Dickinson families.”
Gary Pierson, currently Chief Operating Officer of OPUBCO, will become OPUBCO’s President and Chief Executive Officer. Mike Collison will serve as OPUBCO’s Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.
“I am at the same time happy and sad about this change,” said Pierson, “I will miss my direct affiliation and day-to-day interaction with the Gaylord and Dickinson families and all of the shareholders who have supported OPUBCO for so many generations. On the other hand, it is a good day for our employees, shareholders, and communities. With a single owner the quality of Mr. Anschutz, OPUBCO will have the opportunity to become stronger. Mr. Anschutz and his executive team in Denver are people of the highest character and outstanding businessmen. It’s really a good fit.”
All current employees of OPUBCO Communications Group, which publishes The Oklahoman and NewsOK.com, will maintain their normal responsibilities. Chris Reen will continue with his duties as President of the Communications Group and Publisher of The Oklahoman, and Vice President of News and Editor Kelly Dyer Fry will oversee news gathering. Mr. Anschutz has asked Mrs. Everest to remain on The Oklahoman’s editorial board. The Oklahoman will operate independently of any other newspapers owned by The Anschutz Corporation.
All of the management team of OPUBCO’s luxury hotel in Colorado Springs, The Broadmoor, will be retained, including its President and Chief Executive Officer, Steve Bartolin. The Broadmoor will not become part of any other hotel operations or chains and will not be flagged with a name different than it has had since its opening in 1918.
Mrs. Everest is the third member of the Gaylord family to lead OPUBCO. She assumed the role of Chairman and CEO upon the death of her father, Edward L. Gaylord. OPUBCO was founded in 1903 by Mrs. Everest’s’ grandfather, Edward K. Gaylord and Ray Dickinson, later of California.
Mr. Anschutz is also known for his philanthropic efforts, which are carried out primarily through The Anschutz Foundation. The most visible of these efforts is the Anschutz Medical Campus located in Denver.
Mrs. Everest said in conversations with Mr. Anschutz it became clear that he intends to be a strong supporter of Oklahoma. Likewise, “the Gaylord family intends to continue to support our community and state as we have done since . . . well . . . before Oklahoma even became a state. We are not leaving Oklahoma; this is and will remain our home.”
Closing of the transaction is contingent upon receipt of certain regulatory approvals. Details of the transaction remain private.
For more information related to this story, see this weekend’s Sunday Oklahoman.