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ONG Column Winner


Rob Collins

Enid News & Eagle, June 2019
Rother's Heart Entwined



ONG Editorial Winner


Kim Poindexter

Tahlequah Daily Press, June 2019
State should work to avoid 'brain drain'



  • Brett Wesner buys three papers; Blansett to manage

    Wesner Publications Co. purchased the Lincoln County News from Steve and Dawn Mathis last month. The Mathises operated the Chandler paper for 30 years.
    This week Brian Blansett announced he is selling Tri-County Herald and Stroud American to Wesner. However, Blansett will stay on to serve as editor and publisher of the two papers as well as the Chandler paper. All three papers are located in Lincoln County.
    Blansett was OPA president in 2017-18. He said this week in his Tri-County Herald column, “…Now I don’t have to worry about what will happen to the Herald if I choke on a piece of cornbread some sad day. And that’s a good feeling. A very good feeling.” The sale of the Meeker and Stroud papers will be official Oct. 1.
    Wesner Publications Co. is owned by Oklahoma native Brett Wesner, who serves on the boards of the National Newspaper Association and Oklahoma Watch. Wesner Publications now owns 10 community newspapers in Oklahoma. The others are: Bristow News, The Cordell Beacon, The Geary Star, The Hinton Record, The Madill Record, The Walters Herald and The Watonga Republican. 

  • Celebrate National Newspaper Week Oct. 6-12

    Join newspapers across the country in celebrating National Newspaper Week! Please consider devoting as many column inches as possible to reinforce the importance of the Newspaper to your community. 

    Download columns, editorial cartoons and ads at  MAKE IT LOCAL by editorializing about your newspaper’s unique relevance. This can be about your government watchdog role, coverage of community events, publication of timely public notices, etc.

    » Visit

  • Statements of Ownership must be filed & published soon

    Publishers & circulation managers: Remember to file your annual Statement of Ownership, Management and Circulation (Form 3526) with the U.S. Postal Service by October 1. The form also must be published in your newspaper. Dailies must publish by October 10; non-dailies by October 31. The form (#3526) is available in the Postal Resources area.

  • Open Meeting & Records Seminars to be held this fall

    Attorney General Mike Hunter's office will host six regional seminars on the state's Open Meeting and Open Records Acts this fall. The seminars are open to the public and held in partnership with the Oklahoma Press Association and Freedom of Information Oklahoma. They are designed to answer questions concerning the state’s open meeting and records laws and inform elected or appointed officials about their responsibility under the acts. There is no cost or registration required to attend.

    The meetings will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. at six locations across the state: Oct. 3, Enid; Oct. 24, Ardmore; Nov. 14, Tulsa; Nov. 21, McAlester; Dec. 12, Lawton; Dec. 19, Oklahoma City.

    » Find out more info on the seminars and locations

  • Can you support the Bill of Rights Plaza project?


    A message from Mark Thomas, 
    Executive Vice President, 
    Oklahoma Press Association

    On the east side of the State Capitol there’s a plaza that is notable for its location but not for its beauty.  A project to erect a monument to the Bill of Rights – and renaming the plaza as the Bill of Rights Plaza – has been approved by the State Capitol Commission and State leaders.
    This is an all-volunteer effort, spearheaded by many of the people who coordinated the Oklahoma Honor Flights effort to take World War II veterans to see the WWII monument in Washington, D.C.  This group now is working to raise money to build the Bill of Rights Plaza, and enshrine the first ten amendments in prominent public view on the Capitol Grounds.
    The First Amendment is one of the bedrock principles of our nation and one of the principles we defend vigorously.  That’s why we want to lend a hand in having it displayed prominently at a site where all of the State Representatives, Governor, and many other state leaders enter the building.
    To that end, we have prepared for your use a full-page ad that you can use at your discretion if you choose to support the project. Reduce the ad size if you wish to do so. 

    The ad contains a call for fundraising so the project can commence.  However, we felt it was important to support the project and demonstrate the power of local newspapers to elected leaders and citizens who need to constantly be reminded of the five freedoms found in the First Amendment.
    Full Page ad available in four column widths as CMYK or B&W.
    Scroll down to “Download full page Bill of Rights Plaza Ads” for ads.
    Artwork and ad text copy also available. 

  • Reach out to young readers on Constitution Day

    Constitution and Citizenship Day will be recognized in most schools on Tuesday, Sept. 17 . Schools that receive federal funding are required to teach about the U.S. Constitution on that day.

    Your newspaper can assist your local schools by publishing this quarter-page feature about the Constitution on or before Sept. 17. NIE features like these encourage children and current readers to interact with your newspaper.  The feature is provided exclusively to OPA members and "For the Kid in You" subscribers.

    » DOWNLOAD the Constitution Day Feature for your newspaper

  • Download the August Publisher

    The August 2019 issue of The Oklahoma Publisher is available for download. Read about the first place winners in the Sales Promotion Category of the 2018 OPA Better Newspaper Contest, check out OPA President Ray Dyer's column about sharing articles on the OPA Content Exchange and read about new staff members at several member newspapers.
    PLUS, "Worth Mentioning" features what we found other members are doing at their newspapers. If you have something worth mentioning to others, send it to
    ALSO, read about the experiences of six of the Oklahoma Newspaper Foundation's interns. This is great reading written by the interns. We'll feature more in September with the final ones in October. 

    >> Download the August issue.

  • Reminder flyers to post in your office

    New flyers are available as a handy reference on: (a) how to read the OPS insertion order, (b) to start thinking about what to enter in the annual OPA Better Newspaper Contest, and (c) details to enter the monthly OPA/OGE Photo Contest and the OPA/ONG Column and Editorial Contest.

    » Print the flyers and post them in appropriate areas of your newspaper office.

  • July Publisher available to download

    Group tours of the Stigler News-Sentinel include teaching the importance of the newspaper. Read all about it in the July issue of The Oklahoma Publisher. Also, Brad and Dayva Spitzer, longtime owners of The Beckham County Record (previously The Sayre Record & Beckham County Democrat), sell newspaper to Kay County Media; David Stringer named publisher of the Lawton Constitution; U.S. Rep. Tom Cole sponsors Fallen Journalist Memorial Act of 2019 and more.

    >> Download the July issue

  • Stringer returns to lead The Lawton Constitution

    OPA Past President David Stringer has been named publisher of The Lawton Constitution. The announcement was made Wednesday by Dolph Tillotson, president of Southern Newspapers, Inc., the parent company for the third largest newspaper in the state.
    Stringer was publisher of The Norman Transcript for 13 years and is a graduate of The University of Oklahoma. He served on the OPA Board of Directors during his time at The Transcript before taking positions in New Mexico and Texas.
    Welcome back, David!

    »

  • Judges needed for annual contest judging

    Experienced Oklahoma newspaper folks are needed to judge the New Mexico Press Association's Better Newspaper Contest. This is a great opportunity to gather new ideas for your paper. We encourage all contest participants - as well as those that want to contribute and find new ideas - to sign up as judges. New Mexico staffs judged our contest entries earlier this year. Now it's our turn to return the favor!

    » Sign up now to judge

  • Sign up for an OPA Committee!

    President Ray Dyer asks you to help lead the organization by serving on a committee this year. The committee year begins July 1. Many important decisions are made by association committees, from the annual convention to the Better Newspaper Contest to legislative issues and promotional efforts for newspapers statewide. Any staff member of an OPA business member newspaper is invited to serve on one or more committees. Most committees meet via conference call three or four times per year with the possibility of one in-person meeting at the OPA office in Oklahoma City. Volunteer today to serve on the Advertising Committee, Awards Committee, Education Committee, Government Relations Committee or Legal Services Plan Committee.

    » Click here for more Information                  » Click here to SIGN UP!

  • OPA officers and directors take office July 1

    Ray Dyer begins his new term as president of the Oklahoma Press Association on July 1. Dyer was elected to the position on June 7 during the annual business meeting at the OPA Convention. Dyer is a third-generation publisher/editor of the El Reno Tribune.
    Other officers beginning new terms on July 1 are Mike Strain, Tulsa World, as vice president; and Jeff Shultz, Garvin County News Star, as treasurer.
    At the membership's business meeting several directors were also elected. Brian Blansett, Tri-County Herald, begins a one-year term as past president. Zonelle Rainbolt from The Cordell Beacon was re-elected to a three-year term as director. Don Mecoy of The Oklahoman, was elected to fulfill the third year of a vacated three-year term as director. And Sheila Gay of the Woodward News was elected to a three-year term as director.

    » View the full Board of Directors representing OPA and OPS

  • Spitzers sell Sayre paper after 32 years at the helm

    After 32 years of publishing The Beckham County Record, previously known as The Sayre Record and Beckham County Democrat, Brad and Dayva Spitzer have sold their newspaper to Kay County Media, effective July 1st.
    Kay County Media is owned by Cordell natives Scott Wesner and Scott Wood, who also publish newspapers in Texas, Kansas, Nebraska. Their Oklahoma papers include The Elk City News, The Ponca City News and The Tonkawa News.
    “We feel like this business deal will be the best case scenario for the future of the newspaper," said Brad Spitzer. "We feel blessed to have buyers who are committed to sustaining the presence of small town newspapers.”
    Spitzer will continue to provide on-site consulting as well as shoot sports photography. Wife Dayva was OPA president in 2016-17.

    » Read the full story

  • Publisher of Taloga Times-Advocate dies

    Irvin Lee Miller, publisher of the Taloga Times-Advocate, died June 20, 2019. He was 69. Graveside services were held on June 22 in Taloga.
    Miller was born May 23, 1950, in Taloga. He received a Bachelor’s degree in music education at Southwestern Oklahoma State University.
    He served as band director at Guymon Junior High and High School from 1972 to 1981.
    Miller returned to Taloga and worked for Delhi Gas Pipeline. He retired from ONEOK in 2012.
    After retiring, Miller and his wife Cindy purchased the Taloga Times-Advocate and operated it for seven years.
    Miller is survived by his wife, Cindy Miller of Taloga; sons Brady of Pratt, Kansas, and Brent of Edmond, Okla.; sister Norma Rice; brother Curtis Miller; and four grandchildren.

  • June Publisher available for download

    The June issue of The Oklahoma Publisher is later than usual this month. Some of that is due to its size - 24 pages full of convention content - and some is due to press problems. It should be put in the mail today. Meanwhile, if you want to read about the convention, which includes all contest winners and more, just download it.

    >> To download the June issue, click here.

  • Marlow Review welcomes new publisher

    The Marlow Review welcomed Candace Hammond to the Publisher’s desk this month.
    Former publisher Judy Keller said, "Candace is already a vibrant part of this community and is eager to use her talents to serve the city of Marlow."
    The past few weeks have been busy for Keller and Hammond, who have teamed up to ensure a smooth transition in the office. Hammond sees the Publisher position as a responsibility to the community and to the paper’s history, and has been working to absorb as much of Keller’s expertise as she can. “People look forward to the paper every week. It’s a connection we all have together. We take that responsibility seriously,” Hammond said.
    » Read the full story

  • Convention Photos available on Facebook

    Visit OPA's Facebook to view photos from the 2019 Annual Convention!

  • Congratulations to all Award Recipients!

    The Oklahoma Press Association presented its Better Newspaper Contest Awards during the OPA Annual Convention, June 7-8, at the Grand Casino Hotel & Resort in Shawnee.

    Also announced during the two-day convention were the recipients of the OPA H. Milt Phillips Award and the Oklahoma Newspaper Foundation’s Beachy Musselman Award. Rod Serfoss, publisher of the Clinton Daily News, received the Milt Phillips Award. Rusty Ferguson, publisher of The Cleveland American, was the recipient of the Beachy Musselman Award.

    In the daily divisions, winners of this year’s Sequoyah Awards in the OPA Better Newspaper Contest were The Norman Transcript, Stillwater News Press and McAlester News-Capital. Sequoyah winners in the weekly divisions were The Eufaula Indian Journal, Owasso Reporter, Skiatook Journal, Tri-County Herald in Meeker and El Reno Tribune. The Oklahoma Daily at the University of Oklahoma was the winner in the college division.

    View all the winners in the 2018 Better Newspaper Contest. Photos of the award winners will be published soon on OPA's Facebook and in the June issue of The Oklahoma Publisher.

    Other awards presented:
    Quarter Century Club inductees: Violet Hassler, David Seeley, Judy Baker, Kent Bush 
    ONG Editorial Sweepstakes Award to Wayne Trotter, Countywide & Sun
    ONG Column Sweepstakes Award to Kati Gibson, The Chelsea Reporter
    OGE Daily Photo of the Year to Jason Elmquist, Stillwater News Press
    OGE Weekly Photo of the Year to Jeff Harrison, Midwest City Beacon
    ONF Joseph H. Edwards Outdoor Writer of the Year Award to John Kilgore, Muskogee Phoenix
    ONF Ray Lokey Memorial Award for Excellence in Reporting to John A. Small, Johnston County Sentinel
    Magazine Contest: First place, Tulsa World; second place, Stillwater News Press; third place, The Norman Transcript

  • Read the May issue of The Oklahoma Publisher today!

    The May issue of The Oklahoma Publisher is in the mail but you can read it now. This month, find out how you can sign up for the Gaylord News service at the OPA Convention. Plus five great reasons to attend the June 7-8 Convention at the Grand Casino Hotel and Resort in Shawnee. 

    >> To download the May issue, click here.

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