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In about three months, The Oklahoman will be moving back home – to downtown, where it was a cultural, community and civic anchor for all but about the last two decades of its existence. This is a moment I’ve long dreamed about. When I first started at The Oklahoman in 1990, the newspaper was still at its historic home at NW 4 and Broadway. It was an exciting time in my career, and I was able to walk pretty much everywhere and meet a lot of readers along the way.

I hated moving to 9000 N Broadway. Sure, the building is fantastic. But it was detached from the community. Whether intentional or not, the newspaper ended up putting up barriers separating itself from its readers.

So that’s changing in January. But we’re not waiting until then to connect with readers. Many of you know that myself and other writers and reporters at The Oklahoman have endeavored to find ways to visit, talk and listen to your stories via new mediums like live chats and social media. I’ve made it a point of working, more often than not, at Beatnix in Midtown to give everyone a chance to say “hi” if they are in the area.

Today we’re going into new territory. And yes, it’s for subscribers only. In this day and age, subscribers are my most valued readers. They are the ones who investing in my work. And it’s time to show those subscribers my appreciation. On Friday I broke the story of the sale of Tower Theater in Uptown. And we gave subscribers the opportunity to compete for 30 slots to join me in an invite only discussion with the theater’s developers, David Wanzer, Ben Sellers and Jonathan Dodson. I will, if technology cooperates, have a great slide show of rarely seen historic photos of Uptown 23rd. I will provide some history, some context, and hints at what is coming next. And I will take questions from the readers for the developers.

And then, these 30 subscribers will be given a tour of the theater itself.

If this get-together is a success, I have more special opportunities ahead. And if you want in on this, the first step is simple – subscribe and become an Oklahoman VIP.

 

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Steve Lackmeyer

Steve Lackmeyer is a reporter, columnist and author who started his career at The Oklahoman in 1990. Since then, he has won numerous awards for his coverage, which included the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the city's... Read more ›

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