The Norman Transcript is Norman's oldest continuous business. Its history surpasses that of the City of Norman and of the University of Oklahoma, being founded in 1889 when the area was opened to settlement.
One of the persons on the settler train headed to Norman was Ed P. Engle, a newspaperman who, when the train arrived in Norman, walked one block west through three-inch high prairie grass to stake a business lot at what is now the northeast corner of the intersection of West Main Street and Santa Fe Avenue.
The first edition of Norman’s pioneer newspaper came off the press a few weeks later on July 13, 1889. In 1912, J.J. Burke, who had purchased The Transcript in 1903, and remained its editor until 1920, established a free daily newspaper. Later, The Transcript became a regular daily, which was merged with its weekly edition in 1917.
Fred E. Tarman joined The Transcript in 1922 as editor and remained in that position until his retirement in 1969. Harold R. Belknap became editor and publisher at that time. Don Frensley later became publisher. The newspaper was sold to Donrey Media Group in 1985 and to Community Newspaper Holdings Inc., in 1998. Mark Millsap serves as current publisher.
The paper strives to achieve several things as part of its mission:
• To produce quality products of unquestioned credibility and integrity.
• To promote a unique identity and culture for Norman, Cleveland and McClain counties, differentiating this area from the remainder of the OKC metro.
• To advance the business community in this area, understanding that it is those businesses, and the profits and tax dollars they generate, which support fire, police, roads, public safety and everything from youth sports to the arts in the communities we cover.
• To treat everyone with a sense of respect and fairness.
• To be centrist in our political viewpoints, a friend to neither the right nor the left, but to strive to support what's best, no matter the political ideology.
• To retain our role as the last "mass medium" in our communities, leaving our forums with the widest sense of openness.