jenni carlson

Sports columnist at The Oklahoman

Jenni Carlson (j'97) is a sports columnist at The Oklahoman, offering commentary and opinion on topics ranging from the NBA and major-college sports to high school and youth athletics.

While Carlson was a student at KU, she worked for the University Daily Kansan in a variety of capacities. As a reporter, she covered men’s basketball, women’s basketball and various other sports. As an editor, she oversaw the sports department. Carlson also interned in the sports departments at the Manhattan (Kan.) Mercury, the Kansas City Star and the Oregonian in Portland.

After graduating in 1997, she went to work as a high school sports writer at the Kansas City Star. She covered high schools in Johnson County for three months, then became the paper’s high school sports columnist.

Two years later, she was named sports columnist at The Oklahoman, becoming the first woman to have a general-assignment sports column in the history of the Oklahoma City newspaper. In addition to writing for The Oklahoman and its website,, she also quarterbacks several of the sports department’s weekly studio shows and segments.

Carlson has served as president and board chair of the Association for Women in Sports Media. She has also won various awards for her writing nationally from the Associated Press Sports Editors and the National Association of Black Journalists, regionally from the Great Plains Journalism Awards, and on the state level from the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists.

Carlson and her husband, Ryan, make their home in Oklahoma City. They have a 5-year-old daughter, Millie.