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Berry Tramel and Jenni Carlson are leaving The Oklahoman!!!

They're apparently leaving to form a new online digital media outlet.

Thanks to a tip via the Ogle Mole Network, we’ve learned that famed Oklahoman sports columnists Berry Tramel and Jenni Carlson are apparently leaving The Oklahoman to join a new local sports media startup that, like most new local media startups, will probably go out of business in a few years. 

Outside of that, details of the endeavor – which I’m going to call Wimgo 2.0 – are kind of murky. We don’t know what type of content they’re going to produce, how they plan to make money, or even if they’re going to sell banned Young Jenni Carlson T-Shirt Coffee Mugs!

I’m also hearing that Mike Sherman – the paper’s former sports editor who’s been collecting dust at Oklahoma Watch – and Mike Koehler – another former Oklahoman sports editor whose claim to fame is inventing a weather hashtag and launching the career of Stephanie Bice  – are also involved in the project.

But who cares about those old white men – BERRY “NEXT QUESTION” TRAMEL and JENNI “MOTHER OF CHILDREN” CARLSON are leaving The Oklahoman! That’s crazy! What’s next??? Steve Lackmayer selling off his Bricktown classic brick collection? 

If what my Ogle Moles are telling me is true, and I don’t know why they would lie, it officially marks the end of an era in Oklahoma City sports journalism.

Although their reach and influence have been drowned out by the infinite void of quick, easy, and very free digital sports media content, Berry and Jenni were flagship columnists for the largest newspaper in the state – two holdovers from a time when sports pages mattered.

Although nobody under 40 knows who they are, they’re still household names at your sports-loving dad’s dinner table.

Berry’s been with the paper since 1991. With a wit as sharp as grandma’s sewing needle, he’s famous for writing folksy, down-home sports columns filled with history lessons and clever metaphors that feel as effortless as a Kevin Durant jump shot. The ire of Russell Westbrook and Jim Traber, his columns were must-read stuff in the mid-1990s through mid-2000s before sports radio zapped the life out of him.

Jenni Carlson has been with the paper since 1999 and, well, she’s Jenni Carlson.

We’ve been a frequent critic of her over the years.

Especially during our Barstool-style early days.

I’m sure she’s a nice person and all that.

But let’s just say I’ve never been a fan of her style of work. 

And especially her one-sentence paragraphs.

That being said, I do respect her for pissing off Mike Gundy with her awful sports column about Bobby Reid, and, uhm, I guess this column about a chunk of concrete in an Oklahoma City neighborhood was okay. 

Anyway, I’ll probably reflect more on Berry and Jenni, their work, and their decision to flee the newspaper after the news is official. 

In the meantime, I’m going to try to learn more about Wimgo 2.0!

If Jenni and Berry think the newspaper industry is rough, just wait until they're fully immersed in the cold dark realities of for-profit digital media! I’m pretty sure new restaurants on Broadway and 33rd in Edmond have a higher success rate than digital media start-ups, so I’m really curious to see what type of content they plan to produce, and which local wealthy person is backing it. 

I also want to see if The Oklahoman will give Berry and Jenni a proper sendoff and let them write farewell columns. 

If so, Berry’s will probably be a flowing, reflective piece that tells a story about a lesson that his Norman High School journalism teacher once taught him to provide a broader view on human existence and the persistence of change, while Jenni’s will just be an “Open Letter” to her long-time readers.

Stay with The Lost Ogle we’ll keep you advised.

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