social media
Griffin Communications' new Tulsa headquarters sits downtown. The company runs KWTV in OKC and KOTV in Tulsa. Both have broad social media reach. (Spencer Livingston Gainey)

[Editor’s Note: This four-part series examines Facebook “likes” and Twitter activity among the local news media. Part one covered TV news in the OKC market, part two covers TV news in the Tulsa market, followed by state and local newspapers in part three, then online-only outlets in part four.]

The data porn continues today with a breakdown of the TV-news market in Tulsa. To reiterate our admitted lack of scientific rigor, we offer these findings as merely a glimpse in time as to the level of activity Tulsa-based news entities exert through the social media platforms of Facebook and Twitter. Morbid curiosity and an urge to feel out NonDoc’s place within Oklahoma’s media landscape drives much of the impetus for this series.



The purpose of this study is to identify who among the most recognizable Oklahoma media outlets have the most dominant social-media presences on Facebook and Twitter as measured by likes, tweets, followers and those following.

The two social-media platforms — Facebook and Twitter — were chosen because every news outlet included has at least one account on the two platforms. Although some media also have Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr and, rarely, YouTube accounts, limiting the study to only Facebook and Twitter allowed more direct comparisons (apples to apples, if you will).

Unlike the data for the OKC market, which was collected at the end of September, data points for this part of the series was collected Monday, Oct. 5, between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.

TV news organizations in the Tulsa market

The Tulsa market is Oklahoma’s second-largest media market, behind the OKC market. While OKC is the 45th largest market in the country, Tulsa is the 61st. It covers counties as far south as Latimer, as far west as Pawnee, north to the Kansas border and then east to the Arkansas border. Ottawa county is excluded, as it remains part of the Joplin, Mo./Pittsburg, Kan. market. Much like the OKC study, KQCW (The CW) and KMYT (MyNetworkTV) were omitted for lack of newscasts, and the three religious channels were omitted (KDOR, KWHB and KGEB) for the same reason.

Facebook likes: KOKI on top by far

KOKI / @FOX23 228,285
KOTV / @NewsOn6 191,972
KTUL / @KTULNews 117,733
KJRH / @KJRH2HD 72,513
KRSU / @RSUPublicTV 974
KOED / @ONR 920

With regard to Facebook likes, Tulsa’s Fox affiliate exerts a commanding lead at more than a quarter of a million. Although KOTV’s News on 6 also exhibits a similar, steady flow of posts about local crime, weather and even goes so far as to post updated cover images submitted by the public at large, it’s not enough to dent their deficit of more than 36,000 likes.

KOKI’s impressive lead may have something to do with the fact that they have Pinterest and Instagram accounts that could also drive likes. But their lead is substantial, especially if you consider the smaller Tulsa market’s Fox affiliate has 65,300 more Facebook likes than its OKC Fox sister station.

At the other end of the spectrum, tight competition for likes exists between KRSU and KOED (aka OETA), with a difference of only 54 likes separating the two at  of the time of data collection. KRSU is a public station based out of Rogers State University in Claremore, Bartlesville and Pryor Creek. Not bad for an undergraduate journalism program.

Tweets: KTUL is all a-twitter

ENTITY URL / handle TWEETS (in thousands)
KTUL / @KTULNews 102
KOTV / @NewsOn6 77.4
KOKI / @FOX23 65.9
KJRH / @KJRH2HD 32.8
KOED / @ONR 4.119
KRSU / @RSUPublicTV 0.352

Tweets for @KTULNews — Tulsa’s ABC affiliate — exhibit almost as impressive a lead over the closest competitor @NewsOn6 that KOKI has over KOTV with regard to Facebook likes. While KTUL appears to tweet just about every headline that comes across its radar, KOTV appears to re-tweet more frequently, but re-tweets count toward the overall tweet count, so that’s not the reason for the discrepancy. Further, both stations are listed as having joined in June 2008, so it’s not a matter of a head start for KTUL, either. It may be that KTUL live tweets events more than KOTV, because there was at least one instance on Sept. 30 when KTUL was live tweeting a town hall meeting whereas KOTV did not.

Twitter followers: KOTV dominates

ENTITY URL / handle FOLLOWERS (in thousands)
KOTV / @NewsOn6 52.1
KTUL / @KTULNews 33.7
KOKI / @FOX23 32.8
KJRH / @KJRH2HD 30.2
KOED / @ONR 1.647
KRSU / @RSUPublicTV 0.308

Although KOTV may play second fiddle to KTUL’s impressive tweet dominance, the former exhibits more followers by a margin of about 18,400. So, while KTUL may be the noisier bird, KOTV attracts far more followers than any TV news outlet in the Tulsa market.

KOTV is owned by Griffin Communications, just like the OKC TV-market social media king KWTV. Griffin brands itself as “Oklahoma’s Own,” and says it has “the largest staff of television journalists and the most electronic news gathering equipment in Oklahoma.” They just built a new headquarters in downtown Tulsa, pictured above.

Meanwhile, the middle of the pack — from second-most Twitter followers to fourth-most — is defined by a range in the lower 30-thousands, with only about 3,500 followers separating @KTULNews from @KJRH2HD.

Following on Twitter: KOTV wins again

KOTV / @NewsOn6 5,376
KOKI / @FOX23 2,559
KOED / @ONR 363
KRSU / @RSUPublicTV 169
KTUL / @KTULNews 161

There may be something to be said for giving back what you get. The @NewsOn6 handle follows more than twice as many accounts on Twitter as @FOX23, which places a distant second in this category. This is similar to the OKC market data, in which KWTV had the most Facebook likes, Twitter followers and followed the most people back. Circle of life. Hakuna matata.

But in Tulsa, Fox 23 has the most Facebook likes yet comes in third with regard to tweets and followers, so there doesn’t appear to be evidence that being most-liked and generous with your following activity on Twitter translates to more Facebook followers. Meanwhile, the ABC affiliate @KTULNews follows slightly fewer accounts than @RSUPublicTV and only slightly more than @TELETULNOTICIAS.

Considering KTUL’s 102,000 tweets in the past eight years, you’d think they’d find more than 162 people on Twitter worth following.

The crown goes to: Griffin Communications

I would have to hand the social media crown of Tulsa’s local-news market to KOTV’s News On 6 and Griffin Communications, just like I did for the OKC TV market. Although a distant second in Facebook likes, a difference of more than 74,000 likes over third-place KTUL defines that second-place berth. Add to that @NewsOn6’s dominance in the Twitter followers and following categories, and you have a news outlet not only well-connected to its community but also able to leverage its audience into higher ad sales.

Feel free to follow all these stations yourself and draw your own conclusions about the type of content they distribute on social media. You can post your observations in our comment section, if you would like, or you can heckle their Twitter accounts during 10 p.m. newscasts, which can be amusing. (Maybe they’ll start heckling us if they see this!)

Tomorrow: State and local newspapers

Our lurid look at social media data continues tomorrow with part three, an examination of printed news in Oklahoma.