Dayle McGaha, 1934-2023

May 1, 2023


Dayle McGaha, former publisher of The Blackwell (Oklahoma) Journal-Tribune, died February 27, 2023. He was 88.

McGaha was born Dec. 22, 1934, near Tonkawa, Oklahoma. He attended Blackwell Public Schools and ran two paper routes for the Journal-Tribune while in high school. He was later hired as the mailroom attendant and worked his way into the paper’s classified advertising department.

After attending Tulsa University for two years, and working in the Tulsa World’s advertising department, he moved back to Blackwell to become the Journal-Tribune’s advertising manager. He worked in that position until he was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1957.

McGaha served in the military until 1959, then returned to Blackwell to once again work at the newspaper. He married his wife, Janie, in 1962, and the couple moved to McAlester, Oklahoma, where Dayle worked in the McAlester News-Capital’s advertising department.

In 1967, the McGahas returned to Blackwell. Dayle served as the Journal-Tribune’s advertising manager until being promoted to general manager in 1980, and then to publisher. He remained as publisher until retiring in 2000, serving 43 years at the Blackwell Journal-Tribune.

McGaha will be inducted into the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame on May 4, 2023.

McGaha is survived by his wife, Janie; sons Gavin Dayle McGaha of Kansas City and Bryan Walter McGaha of Edmond; brother Delbert McGaha of Owasso; and five grandchildren.