We don't mind the Oklahoman going digital, since it's clear that newspapers need to do something to keep up with emerging technology and attract younger readers. But neither the Oklahoman's Tulsa ads nor the website itself offers much that is new—or particularly interesting, for that matter.
Let's start with the TV ads. The ads feature a good-looking young couple (she's blond—it's television, after all) talking about all the great features of the new website. Unfortunately, the advertisements promise a lot more than the site itself delivers.
Our recent look at the site found poor production values, awkward sound, irritating ads, and a lot of warmed-over content. For example, NewsOK.com today was promoting the fact that American Idol star Carrie Underwood would be coming to Tulsa in the fall for a concert.
When you combine the site's dullness with the paper's long history of editorial wrongheadedness, the television ads appear to be a waste of good airtime. Instead of ads, the Oklahoman might want to invest is some actual news gathering in the greater Tulsa area.
If NewsOK.com is the best that Oklahoman can come up with, we're afraid their convergence experiment will be a bust. For now, we're sticking to the printed version of the Tulsa World, which at least has some actual professional news on its old-fashioned printed pages.
Update: We spent a bit more time on the Oklahoman's site this week, and found it a little more useful than our original assessment. Still, the site's ads are a major annoyance. True, the ads pay the bills, but we don't think readers will keep returning to a site when the ads get in the way of the news content.