Edward Gaylord

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Edward L. Gaylord)
Jump to: navigation, search
Edward Gaylord
Born Edward Lewis Gaylord
(1919-05-28)May 28, 1919
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States
Died April 27, 2003(2003-04-27) (aged 83)
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States
Nationality American
Spouse(s) Thelma (m. 1950)

Edward Lewis Gaylord (May 28, 1919 – April 27, 2003) was an Oklahoma billionaire businessman and media mogul who built the Gaylord Entertainment Company empire that included The Oklahoman newspaper, Oklahoma Publishing Co., Gaylord Hotels, the Nashville Network TV Channel (later renamed "SpikeTV" after being sold off); the Grand Ole Opry, and the Country Music Television Channel (CMT) as well as the defunct Opryland USA theme park and a bankrupt airline, Western Pacific Airlines.


Gaylord was the leader of the family which inherited the major Oklahoma City metro newspaper, Daily Oklahoman and other family assets worth $50 million in 1974. Gaylord graduated from Stanford University with a degree in business and continued his studies at Harvard Business School, his education interrupted by World War II.

Gaylord increased the family fortune to $2 billion by the time he died in 2003. He also purchased the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee, when it was in dire financial straits and kept it operating. He created The Nashville Network TV Channel, as well as Country Music Television, or CMT, which is similar to MTV, and owned Hee Haw a long running country and western variety show.

The Daily Oklahoman, renamed The Oklahoman, remained being controlled by the family until the sale in 2012; the news features and editorial position of the paper reflects affiliation with The Washington Examiner, which has the same owner. Gaylord's daughter, publisher Christy Gaylord Everest, now remains as a board member along with her sister, Louise Gaylord Bennett. Both sought an updated the look for the paper and seemed to present more frequent opposing viewpoints of issues of public concern.

During the management by Edward Gaylord, the newspaper was regularly accused of having right wing bias in both its news coverage and particularly on its editorial pages. The January/February 1999 issue of the Columbia Journalism Review contained an article, titled "The Worst Newspaper in America," which made a case for that designation.[1]

The Gaylord family of Oklahoma City helped found the world-famous National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City and has given the University of Oklahoma contributions totalling over $50 million in the last three decades, and founded the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication. Edward Gaylord and his family were actively involved in the formation of the now-defunct and bankrupt Western Pacific Airlines. Recently, the home field of the University of Oklahoma Sooners football team was renamed Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium due to their contributions.[citation needed]


Under Edward Gaylord, The Oklahoman consistently took conservative political positions in opposition to government spending, but at the same time the paper was sometimes accused of improperly dealing with conflicts of interests created by Gaylord's personal financial interests. One example was the paper's editorial support for the city to use public funds to promote the building of a new Bass Pro Shop in Oklahoma City, while Gaylord Entertainment was then a 19.9% shareholder of Bass Pro stock. The Oklahoman's reporting on this topic again drew criticism from the Columbia Journalism Review.[2] He was also a member of the conservative public policy think tank, Council For National Policy [3]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Selcraig, Bruce (1999). "The Worst Newspaper in America". Columbia Journalism Review. Retrieved 2008-08-10. 
  2. ^ "How to Hook the Public", Columbia Journalism Review, Sept.-Oct. 2002, reprinted at Entrepreneur.com.
  3. ^ Council For National Policy Membership Directory, accessed on March 9th, 2017