GTR Enters 15th Year; Wins Statewide Award
The Greater Tulsa Reporters Newspapers group has entered its 15th year with the publishing of this month’s issue of the Union Boundary.
The GTR Newspapers, now Oklahoma’s largest monthly news group, was founded in 1992 as the Union Boundary, Inc. The first paper published by GTR Newspapers was the Union Boundary in February 1993. It is targeted to residents and businesses in the Union School District.
The first issue of the Union Boundary was published after five years of marketing research to determine if the people in the Union School District wanted a paper of their own. Union events were receiving secondary publicity in the Broken Arrow paper; most of the Union people lived in the Tulsa city limits; and the Tulsa daily papers were giving Union little publicity, as the district was perceived as being too far from the center of Tulsa.
Nearly 100 percent of the people interviewed in Union said that they would appreciate having their own paper.
Because of the popularity of the publication, readers in other areas of greater Tulsa asked for a similar publication. In answer to this demand, the decision was made to add Tulsa and Jenks district publications, yet to keep separate names for each. In 1995, the Tulsa Free Press and Jenks Gazette were added, as was “Greater Tulsa Reporter Newspapers” as the overall company name.
In 1996, GTR Newspapers debuted its Web site, www.gtrnews.com. This was apparently the first Web site of any print publication in greater Tulsa and last year won a national award as one of the top three free paper publication Web sites in the nation.
The concept of targeting school districts has proved popular, and in 1998 the Broken Arrow Express and the Owasso Rambler were added. The Bixby Breeze became the sixth member of the GTR family in 2002.
Today, GTR Newspapers is the third largest news group in Oklahoma per publishing date, reaching over 120,000 readers in upscale neighborhoods.
The mission of the Greater Tulsa Reporter Newspapers is to provide metropolitan Tulsa-area readers and advertisers with interesting targeted local news and information at reasonable advertising rates and produced by professional writers, editors and graphic artists.
While the papers contain both public and private school news, general news of the entire greater Tulsa area is also included. News sections include greater Tulsa news, civics, economics, sports, variety, home and garden, health and wellness and faith. Various other features are included, such as columns and a community calendar.
The founder of the company is D. Forrest Cameron who continues to be the editor and publisher. He holds a Ph.D. in communication from the University of Kentucky, an MBA from Morehead State University in Kentucky and a BSBA in economics from the University of Tulsa. The co-publisher is Sharon Cameron who holds an MBA from Morehead State University and a BSBA in accounting from the University of Tulsa.
Additional key staff members include Associate Editor Charles Cantrell, Contributing Editor David Jones, Art Director Bryan Cantrell, Sales Manager Matthew W. Gross, Photographer Alicia Shrum and Editorial Assistant Miranda Enzor.
Most of the papers are distributed directly to houses in the target areas. Other distribution outlets include over 750 restaurants and retail outlets in greater Tulsa.
The GTR Newspapers group has been cited as one of the nation’s best by the Independent Free Papers of America, an international association of free papers. A leading Tulsa-based advertising executive wrote that the GTR Newspapers group “is the best of its type I have ever seen.”
The GTR Newspapers group is active in civic affairs. Much publicity is placed in the papers for area non-profit organizations at no cost. The “Kudos of the Month” is a national award-winning front-page placement donated to various non-profit organizations.
Members of the staff are involved in various boards and civic groups. D. Forrest Cameron was honored by the Tulsa Metro Chamber for being a Media Advocate for Small Business.
In additional GTR Newspapers news, the company was recently honored by “Keep Oklahoma Beautiful” at that organization’s 16th Annual Environmental Awards program “to recognize the good works of Oklahomans for their exceptional efforts in the areas of environmental improvement, beautification and landscaping and environmental education and promotion for 2006.”
The Media Award is based on the demonstrated impact of the attention given to efforts by a media organization. GTR was cited for its publicity of environmental efforts by organizations such as Tulsa’s Up With Trees and the Tulsa Garden Center. GTR management believes that keeping Tulsa as “America’s Most Beautiful City” is of paramount importance for the healthy economic growth and lifestyle of the region.