By Micah Choquette and Darren Sumner
It’s a new day for the Sapulpa Herald, the city’s longest-surviving newspaper—and its competitor, the Sapulpa Times.
After seven years of friendly competition in providing reliable local news for the citizens of Sapulpa and surrounding areas, the two entities are joining forces to begin a new direction for the newspaper that’s been in Sapulpa since 1914.
The new merger is an effort to make “the best paper for Sapulpa,” said Darren Sumner, whose family bought the Herald in 2007 from corporate conglomerate Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc.
Sapulpa Times, created in 2015, began as an online news outlet covering news and events in Sapulpa and surrounding communities. They began printing a physical newspaper in 2018. They ceased publication last week to start printing a new Sapulpa Herald with most of the same content readers will recognize from each paper.
The merger is being seen as combining the strengths of both companies—in particular, the online influence of Sapulpa Times with the breadth and coverage provided by the Sapulpa Herald, to merge into a better, more robust unit to provide the best reporting on local news, sports, and events for Sapulpa and the surrounding communities.
The merge is just one of many changes the Sapulpa Herald is undergoing.
Recently the Sapulpa Herald sold its building at 16 S. Park Street to the City of Sapulpa which tore the old building down as part of the downtown renovation plan. The Herald is currently building a new state-of-the-art print facility in Kiefer as well as a 10 unit Goss press and new computers.
Darren Sumner will be over sales and revenue of the Sapulpa Herald and recently hired Danielle Bennett back to the sales staff and will be adding another sales representative in the next few weeks. The Herald will soon have print/online advertising packages to offer the customers. “I am very pleased with the quality the new press is giving us, as soon as the new facility is complete as well as the installation of the new press I will be able to print additional newspapers from across the state,” stated Sumner. “It will be great to get back to a full staff at the newspaper,” said Sumner.
Derek Sumner is the Operations Manager of the Herald and the head Pressman. He will oversee production, printing, circulation, and legals. Teresa McKown rejoined the staff a few months ago and will handle circulation duties for print and online subscriptions while Judi Gloden will continue to handle legals at the newspaper. The Herald recently hired a press assistant.
The addition of Micah Choquette and Charles Betzler will boost the editorial staff for better local coverage. Choquette is Editor-In-Chief and is in charge of the news content for print and online media while Betzler and John Brock will assist in producing local news and sports coverage.