Very Disappointing News From OETA

I was able to watch the Oklahoma News Report (ONR) last night on OETA (Channel 13 here in OKC). I wrote a blog post on ONR back in 2009.

At the end of the program, the anchor Dick Pryor reported that due to a number of factors, including three years running of state budget reductions, that ONR was going away as a daily program soon (didn’t catch the date), and was being reconstituted as a monthly program.

ONR has been cutting back over the past year. They went from two anchors to one, and lost reporters also.

I’m frankly mystified by this. ONR is an outstanding news program, unvarnished, able to devote the time needed to covering stories in the state, with a minimum of stuff from out of state (appropriate since it’s the Oklahoma News Report).

OETA has built up quite a large endowment over the years, and I find it hard to believe that they can’t find the room in the budget the the salaries and overhead (power, etc.) to keep ONR going.

I also find it inconceivable that the Legislature couldn’t find the couple hundred $K that it would have taken to keep ONR on. I can’t help but wonder if Republican antipathy to media they can’t control is part of this.

So one less independent news outlet. Much of the coverage of the news of the Legislature and doings at the State Capitol has already been reduced, and I’m sure that will be to the detriment of the citizenry. It’s not a positive trend in a democratic society.

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