Skip to Content

Help Wanted – The Oklahoman is hiring a new publisher

Do you think global warming is a myth, all poor people are lazy, and that loyally protecting your friends and fiercely attacking their enemies is a trademark of quality local journalism?

If so, you may want to polish the old resume. The Oklahoman is hiring a new publisher to oversee the paper's continued downward slide into the 21st century.

Via the Gatehouse Media "Help Wanted" section:

GateHouse Media is searching for a visionary leader to guide The Oklahoman, headquartered in Oklahoma City, into a new era. First published in 1889, The Oklahoman is the leading news organization in Oklahoma City and publishes high-quality, local content while offering innovative multimedia marketing solutions. The newspaper has a Sunday circulation of 103,000, and over half a million local adults consume The Oklahoman’s news and information through print, online, and mobile & tablet devices. The Oklahoman holds a unique position as the influential voice across the entire Oklahoma City region, as well as much of the state, and plays a critical role in the lives of its residents, readers and advertisers. The Oklahoman is annually recognized by the state press association for its news feature reporting.

First of all, isn't it weird to see such a high-profile job opening shared on the Internet? In the old days, they would have just picked a Chamber-approved white male at random from E.K. Gaylord's Rolodex and given him the job. Now they have to go through this bureaucratic process.

Second, did GateHouse reuse an old Oklahoman job description from the 1980s? I know job postings double as promotional advertisements for the company doing the hiring, but "Influential voice across the entire Oklahoma City region" takes things a bit too far. I'm pretty sure parrots and fireplaces read more of The Oklahoman than actual people. I would have gone with something more appropriate like "out-of-touch, influential voice across the old and aging Oklahoma City conservative echo chamber."

So, what exactly are the responsibilities of this publisher:

As Publisher, the individual is responsible for the strategic, operational, and financial success of The Oklahoman. We are seeking a proven leader who understands the critical balance between a print and digital revenue focus, along with the continued need to diversify revenue streams across multiple business lines.  Oklahoma City is a rapidly growing market and the Publisher must be willing to dive deep into the local business community and be an influential part of setting the local business agenda.

That's interesting. I always thought the role of a newspaper was to fairly and accurately report news – not "dive deep into the local business community and be an influential part of setting the local business agenda." I know I'm just an obscure local social blogger who runs a independent pseudo news website with a large and local following that rivals that of The Oklahoman, but you think that would actually compromise the paper's journalistic ethics, and make it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to objectively cover that very same influential business community. Basically, it would make the paper a biased propaganda machine that advances an agenda instead of an objective journalism outlet that exposes one. I hope that never happens! #eyeroll #sarcasm #facepalm

Here are the qualifications they are looking for:

    • Rich, prior experience leading media and digital organizations
    • A proven track record of leading change and delivering financial performance goals
    • High digital acumen with prior experience leading digital media strategies
    • An unwavering commitment to local journalism
    • The ability to become an integral part of the local leadership of the community; demonstrated success in building strong relationships with the political, business, and cultural leaders of a region
    • An established history of increasing and diversifying revenues
    • Excellent strategic planning, organizational, analytical, and financial management skills
    • Exceptional interpersonal, verbal, and written communication skills
    • A Bachelors Degree or comparable experience required

Well, this is kind of awkward. I'm pretty sure they wrote that job description with me in mind. Outside of the "Excellent strategic planning and organizational skills," I meet every qualification they're looking for. If only I was interested in selling my soul to the devil, I'd be the perfect fit.

Anyway, you can view the entire job posting here. May the best white man get the job!

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter