The newspaper made the announcement today on its website and stated that all Oklahoma Publishing Company stock will be sold to the Anschutz Corporation, which is owned by Philip Anschutz, 71, a Denver-based businessman ranked by Forbes magazine as the 37th richest person in the United States and the 124th wealthiest person on the planet with a net worth of $7.5 billion. The Anschutz Corporation had no comment.
Anschutz has roots in ranching and oil and gas exploration, Christy Everest, chairwoman and CEO of OPUBCO, said in an online announcement, and that “there are amazing similarities between the interests and conservative values of the Anschutz Corporation and those of OPUBCO.”
In addition to investments in oil fields in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and Texas, Anschutz’s holdings have included hotel properties, publications (the conservative Weekly Standard through Clarity Digital Group as well as the hyper-local Examiner.com and The San Francisco Examiner), telecommunications companies, railroad companies, theaters and Anschutz Entertainment Group — a company that owns such venues as the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Anschutz also is heavily involved in philanthropy, according to Face of Philanthropy, donating to such causes as Foundation for a Better Life and Random Acts of Kindness Foundation and is “actively involved in moralistic filmmaking,” helping to bankroll movies such as “Holes,” “Because of Winn-Dixie” and “The Chronicles of Narnia” adaptations. Anschutz is also a supporter of groups such as the Institute for American Values, a campaign against Internet pornography called Enough is Enough and the Discovery Institute, an organization promoting intelligent design.
OPUBCO announced Gary Pierson, chief operating officer, will become the new president and CEO of the company and Mike Collison with serve as vice president and CFO. All other employees at NewsOK and The Oklahoman will retain their normal responsibilities, according to the announcement, and the paper will operate independently of other Anschutz papers.
The deal will transfer all OPUBCO holdings, including The Oklahoman, NewsOK.com, all real estate, The Broadmoor Hotel and the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa, interests in other companies such as Suddenlink Communications and subsidiaries such as Pavestone LLC.
The specifics of the deal were not made public in the announcement.
For more, see Wednesday’s Oklahoma Gazette.
Photo by Mark Hancock