Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Wylies sell Oklahoma weekly, one of the best

John and Faith Wylie, publishers of one of the best weekly newspapers in America, the Oologah Lake Leader, have sold it, citing health reasons. "They plan to rest and travel after retiring, although John will continue working as a writer," reports The Oklahoma Publisher, monthly newspaper of the Oklahoma Press Association.

The buyer is Maria Laubach, who was managing publisher and owner of The Hennessey Clipper and published three other Oklahoma weeklies. "We believe she will be an incredible asset to oologah and someone who Will Rogers would thoroughly enjoy knowing," the Wylies said. Oologah is Rogers' birthplace.

"The Wylies represent the best of quality journalism in Oklahoma," said Terry Clark, director of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, when they were inducted in 2012. John M. Wylie II, who studied at Grinnell College in Iowa, was part of the Kansas City Star team that won a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Hyatt hotel disaster in 1982. He and his wife bought the weekly Leader in 1984. "His investigations for the Leader and national and international publications of McGraw-Hill have concentrated on energy regulation, attracting national attention" and winning many awards for their accountabilty journalism, the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors reported in 2012. Faith Wylie has a degree in graphic design from the University of Kansas and won an ISWNE editorial writing award in 2014.

The Wylies have also been civic leaders and have received several local awards. John Wylie discussed their public service and approach to publishing in remarks prepared for the 2007 National Summit on Journalism in Rural America, titled "Independent Publishing Today: Thriving in a world of box stores and chain papers." He wrote, "Some publishers believe that the local newspaper should carry only good news and never offend anyone. We say a good local newspaper should carry all the news, and provide quality coverage of the good, the bad and everything in between. . . . You are the only newspaper in the world that gives a diddly about your town. Act like it. Your town includes the preacher and the pauper; the millionaire and the welfare mom; the teacher and the mentally handicapped child. Speak for all of them, meet their needs, help them realize their dreams and you will prosper." (Read more)

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