Friday, September 28, 2018

GateHouse buys The Oklahoman, lays off 37

After employees of The Oklahoman Media Co. sat through a 35-minute presentation yesterday about the company's sale to GateHouse Media with GateHouse CEO Kirk Davis and Oklahoman Publisher Chris Reen, staffers were told to check their emails. Thirty-seven of them had been laid off, effective immediately; the sale is to be final Monday, Oct. 1.

One staffer said "It was kind of pandemonium, trying to see who was safe and who was gone." Fifteen of the layoffs were in the newsroom, though two of those newsroom staffers agreed to retire, Barbara Allen reports for the Poynter Institute. Davis told Allen that one of his most important goals is to quickly "stabilize the financial situation at the newspaper" in Oklahoma City.

"Cuts were made across the organization, including the Oklahoman's digital marketing agency, BigWing, according to people inside the organization," Allen reports. Interim publisher Jim Hopson of GateHouse will take over at The Oklahoman, while Reen will remain employed with the paper's current owner The Anschutz Corp., the paper reports.

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