construction_01.jpg
What would soon be part of the editorial content center within the multimedia department, this photo was taken during the Internet access and electronic systems phase of the construction. View more of the construction process.

icon_newspaper.gifRandy Ellis, The Oklahoman
Sunday, June 4, 2006

A new multimedia department has been created by The Oklahoman to meet the needs of readers by providing ways for them to receive news and information and advertising when they want it and how they want it.

“Because we are the leading news and information provider in Oklahoma, we are now more than a newspaper,” said David Thompson, publisher of The Oklahoman. “Along with our TV partner, KWTV NEWS 9, we have an extensive Web site, News-OK.com, and we are developing ways to provide rich content on a variety of platforms from print products to cell phones.”

Thompson said the multimedia department will help focus efforts on using the latest technology in The Oklahoman newsroom and in the sales and marketing departments, which are now called the OPUBCO Communications Group.

Kelly Dyer Fry will be the director of the new multimedia department, Thompson said. Fry was the general manager of NewsOK.com.

“We’ve assembled a very strong multimedia team,” Fry said. “We should be able to tackle anything that comes our way.”

Yvette Walker has been named deputy managing editor, and her duties will include content management for multimedia and special sections, said Ed Kelley, editor of The Oklahoman. Walker recently joined the staff after leaving The Kansas City Star, where she had several years of multimedia experience.

Chris Reen, advertising director of OPUBCO Communications Group, said significant changes also have been made in the marketing department.

Rob Wescott has been promoted to marketing manager and will work closely with the multimedia department, he said.

Fry announced several key multimedia department appointments including David Morris as general manager of NewsOK.com and assistant multimedia director, Scott Horton as creative director and Todd Pendleton, art manager.

The Oklahoman has the largest news and information team in the state, which puts it in a unique position of being able to quickly gather and deliver more news than any other state media, Thompson said.

For breaking news, a reporter will immediately file a brief report which can quickly be e-mailed out to customers, alerting them to go to NewsOK.com to see more as the story develops. Then, in the morning, the most complete story about the event will appear in The Oklahoman, Thompson said.

This is not a futuristic look at the news business. It is available to Oklahomans now, Fry said. As new technologies such as cell phones, Personal Data Assistants and MP3 players have become available for delivering news to customers, NewsOK.com has made those services available to customers through its Web site.

The new delivery systems will open doors for advertising as well, Reen said.

“By providing news, information and advertising on multiple platforms, we’ll continue to grow our audience and expand our reach — creating unique advertising opportunities for both our longterm and newest advertising customers,” Reen said.

The multimedia department also will develop new niche print products with multimedia components.

“For more than a century, The Oklahoman has been serving the information needs of this state and it will continue to do that in the foreseeable future,” Kelley said.

dyer_mugs.jpgDirector of Multimedia Department
Kelly Dyer Fry, general manager of News-OK.com, has been promoted to director of the multimedia department.

In her new position, Fry will work to ensure that “readers, users and viewers get the best stories this new organization can give them, when they want it and how they want it.”

A third-generation Oklahoma journalist, Fry worked 16 years on the print side before joining The Oklahoman’s Web team in 1996.

In August 2001, she headed the team that launched NewsOK.com, a joint venture between The Oklahoman and KWTV NEWS 9. The convergence project more than doubled the traffic for its parent company sites and garnered a national Edgie Award in its first year for Best Local Online News Service. Today the site boasts more than 680,000 registered users and serves up more than 36 million monthly page views.

walker_mugs.jpgDeputy Managing Editor
Yvette Walker, former news editor at The Kansas City Star, recently was named deputy managing editor of The Oklahoman.

Walker’s duties will include leading a newsroom focus on strategic content management and development working with The Oklahoman, NewsOK.com and other products.

She has prior multimedia experience, having served as staff development and multimedia editor for The Kansas City Star from 1998 to 2003. Her duties there included identifying ways to create partnerships between The Star and other media.

She helped lead The Star’s newsroom through transition and the rollout of a new kansascity.com, The Star’s Web site.

Walker has worked two decades in newspaper journalism, and has edited award-winning projects at The Star, The American-Statesman in Austin, Texas; The Detroit News in Michigan; The Dallas Times Herald in Texas; and The Post-Tribune in Gary, Ind.

rob_mugs.jpgMarketing Manager
Rob Wescott has been promoted to marketing manager of OPUBCO Communications Group.

Wescott, who previously was advertising development/promotions manager, will bring a focus on business development to marketing at OPUBCO Communications Group.

“A strategic marketing organization is key to leverage our growing product portfolio to increase advertising market share and audience,” he said.

Wescott joined OPUBCO in 2004. He previously was director of advertising sales development at the Democrat and Chronicle, a Gannett newspaper in Rochester, N.Y.

morris_mugs.jpgGeneral Manager of NewsOK.com
David Morris has been named general manager of NewsOK.com and assistant multimedia director. He formerly was NewsOK.com’s senior managing editor and multimedia coordinator.

Morris will oversee NewsOK.com operations and staff and assist with the OPUBCO Communications Group’s multimedia efforts.

Morris, 32, has worked at OPUBCO in various roles since 1996. He initially worked as a sports reporter while earning an MBA. He joined the online department in 1998 and helped form the convergence partnership with KWTV NEWS 9. Since then, he has assisted with daily convergence activities among News-OK.com, The Oklahoman and NEWS 9.

scott_mugs.jpgCreative Director
S
cott Horton will be the new creative director of the multimedia department.

For the past 10 years, Horton has been creative manager of OPUBCO’s online products. For the last five of those years, he has been creative director of NewsOK.com, the Web site joint venture between The Oklahoman and KWTV NEWS 9. Horton is also co-owner of McKinley Browne Creative Group, LLC.

From 1990 to 1996 he was art director of publications for the University of Central Oklahoma. A distinguished alumnus of Oklahoma Christian University, he has more than 25 years of publication development experience. With more than 100 industry design awards, Horton has been recognized nationally and internationally for his work.

todd_mugs.jpgArt Manager
Todd Pendleton will be the new art manager for the multimedia department. He formerly was The Oklahoman’s assistant art director for editorial art. Pendleton’s new duties will include organizing the job flow for artists, facilitating training and designing special projects and graphics. He joined OPUBCO in 1986 in the account services department. He joined the advertising art department in 1988 and has been an editorial artist since 1990.

construction_02.jpg
Once a chemical processor room with a tubbed floor and a drain, this is my future office. After 11 years in an small office away from the windows, I am excited to not only have windows but a corner as well. Tell me if I begin to glow green. (Laughing-out-loud)

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Here’s an after shot of my new office. I know, I know… Dang! The monitor is an Apple 30 inch cinema display. For a guy like me, technology has come full circle. This monitor is a lot like having the drafting board back after 20 years. Trust me. I often miss the days of working on a nine inch black and white screen.

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