Chairman and CEO of the Oklahoma Publishing Co., Christy Everest, announced yesterday that Kelly Dyer Fry will assume duties as Editor of The Oklahoman in addition to serving as Vice President of News for OPUBCO Communications Group.
She is The Oklahoman’s First woman to hold that high a position and only the fourth editor in the paper’s history.
Fry has been with the company for 17 years. She started as Features Editor before moving to the digital side of the operation in 1997. In 2001 she led the team that launched NewsOK.com, serving as general manager of NewsOK. The site has grown to become Oklahoma’s most trafficked local news site.
Fry’s team introduced video to NewsOK in 2007 after constructing a studio on the OPUBCO campus. Later that year, she led the reorganization of OPUBCO’s news operation by merging the digital side with The Oklahoman’s News and Information Center.
“Kelly has worn many hats and has led many of our digital initiatives including NewsOK,” said Everest. “Her strong journalistic background in print and digital is a good combination for the editor’s role. I look forward to her continued efforts in making all our products the best they can be."
Chris Reen, who will assume duties Sept. 1 as Publisher of The Oklahoman and President of OPUBCO Communications Group, said he believes Fry is uniquely qualified for this role. "Kelly has served on our executive team since 2000. She has a keen business sense combined with strong journalistic principles and an entrepreneurial spirit. Our industry is undergoing great changes, I am confident Kelly’s adaptability and gentle strength will serve us well."
Fry is a third-generation Oklahoma journalist. Her family owns the El Reno Tribune. Her grandfather, Ray Dyer, and aunt, Kay Dyer, also worked for OPUBCO earlier in their careers.
“This is a thrilling and humbling opportunity for me,” said Fry. “I have deep respect for this institution and Oklahoma is my home. I am dedicated to connecting with our readers and fulfilling our First Amendment obligation. We play a vital role in the community and I look forward to many years of great journalism. I hope to beef up our watchdog efforts and enhance our local coverage.”
David Thompson, current publisher of The Oklahoman and president of OPUBCO Communications Group said Fry is a seasoned veteran in the news business and a solid journalist.
“She will uphold our journalistic standards,” Thompson said. “Kelly is just the fourth person in our company’s history to hold this title, and I’m 100-percent confident she will build upon the great journalistic legacy of this company.”
Fry, 52, graduated in 1981 from Oklahoma State University where she earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism education. She lives in Edmond with her husband, Chris Fry. They have four children.
In 2007 Fry is noted in a digital media debate which began with an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal with which she disagreed. Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Publisher Walter E. Hussman wrote an analysis entitled "How to Sink a Newspaper."
In the essay, Hussman explained and defended his decision to maintain a monthly subscription fee for most content on the Democrat-Gazette Web site, while many other newspaper Web sites move away from paid content.
The e-forum debate, at its start, focused on whether the free availability of newspaper-produced and Associated Press content online was contributing to the print circulation decline at most newspapers.
Dyer weighed in writing, "If we start trying to ‘control’ how readers get our news, they will just go elsewhere. Sorry folks, but you can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube," the called Hussman’s the point "moot." Most – but certainly not all – e-forum participants agreed with Dyer, writing free content is the only way to go.
Fry’s Facebook page notes her loyalty to CBS Morning News (not often watched by Conservatives) and for music she likes Bruce Springsteen, Jimmy Buffett, Jewel, Sheryl Crowe and John Mayer.
Tulsa Today wishes her continuing success in her new position.