LAUNCHED in 1903, The Oklahoma Publishing Co. has been steered by steady hands ever since. Those hands have shared common family genes but they also shared common conservative values.
OPUBCO's ownership and management were handed down from generation to generation. Next month, the Gaylord and Dickinson families, who have helmed the state's premier newsgathering operation for more than 108 years, will hand the company over to Denver businessman Philip Anschutz.
We extend a hand of greeting to Anschutz as well as a hand of applause to those most responsible for making OPUBCO the company that it became. A glorious past, a challenging present and an exciting future are intertwined in Thursday's announcement that Anschutz will buy the company and one of its flagship products, The Oklahoman.
Also intertwined in this announcement are the loyalties of our readers. They and their parents, their grandparents and even their great-grandparents have never read an edition of The Oklahoman that was a product of someone other than a Gaylord family member. It began with Edward K. Gaylord and continued under Edward L. Gaylord and Christy Gaylord Everest.
And now we move into a new era, with new hands on the ownership wheel. At the same time, we promise to continue building on a tradition that E.K. Gaylord summarized in these words:
“In its entire history The Oklahoma Publishing Company has fought under the banner of honesty in government, progress in education and culture, high standards of morality, generosity in philanthropy, betterment of social conditions and, of economic conditions, the steady improvement.”
This is a sea change for OPUBCO but not one that's entering uncharted waters. “Mr. Anschutz's stewardship of OPUBCO's properties will carry the company's 108-year history well into the future,” Everest said Thursday. Anschutz said he looks forward “to carrying on the legacy of excellence created by the Gaylord and Dickinson families.”
Looking forward, we can promise that the newspaper and its affiliates will continue to elucidate and to entertain, to enlighten and to educate. The opinion pages will continue to extol conservative values. This will remain the largest, best-equipped information provider in Oklahoma. And we will continue to support community causes and help this state grow and prosper.
Gaylord is a household name in Oklahoma. It has been for more than a century. Anschutz will be unfamiliar to most readers. This will soon change and the newspaper will evolve. But it will not reverse the course that E.K. Gaylord set for it so many years ago.
Welcome to Oklahoma, Mr. Anschutz. Into your capable hands we place a company born before statehood and a newspaper that's helped steer the good ship Oklahoma since 1903.