Sports columnist John Romano named to succeed Howard Troxler as Tampa Bay Times new metro columnist
I'd say its something like batting clean up for the Yankees after Babe Ruth left.
But sports columnist John Romano is ready for the challenge, moving to become the Times new Pinellas-based metro columnist, taking on the position once held by Howard Troxler.
I'm trying to get the news up quick, so here's the memo posted internally by editor Neil Brown just a short time ago:
On January 1, Florida's Best Newspaper will debut not only a new name, but also a new metro columnist: John Romano.
John's hometown-kid credentials make him a great choice to be a leading Times personality around Tampa Bay. He was born at Bayfront (when it was called Mound Park Hospital), went to Blanton Elementary, 16th Street Middle (now John Hopkins, across from the Trop), Dixie Hollins High School, St. Pete Junior College and graduated from USF.
He started in journalism stringing for the Evening Independent while in college (working for a sports editor there named Jim Booth), then took a job at the Palm Beach Post. After a year, Joe Childs hired him on the North Suncoast. John worked in the Hernando, Pasco and Tampa bureaus.
John has been a force in making the Times' sports section one of the Top 10 in the nation. If you're like me, you start most Mondays during the Bucs season with John's smart and clever take, "Gimme Five." As a beat writer (he has covered USF, Florida, the Bucs and the Rays) and as a columnist John has been recognized nationally and in Florida. His national awards include honors as one of America's two best sports columnists in 2003, probing work on the FSU/Foot Locker scandal, and enterprising coverage of the anniversary of the Title IX women's scholarship program.
The Times has a rich tradition of strong, purposeful column writing -- and no two voices are the same. In Sports, John has shown that he can call out poor performers, tell stories of unsung heroes, and demand accountability from those in power. Now he will bring those skills to a wider audience, with column writing that can be warm, or tough or witty. As a columnist, John will truly be a man on the streets of Tampa Bay.
John will introduce himself anew in our inaugural Tampa Bay Times. We look forward to many great columns ahead from John.