First female sports editor at Tampa Bay Times promoted to deputy editor

Traci Johnson has spent her nearly 20-year career in the newsroom.
Traci Johnson has been with the Tampa Bay Times since she was an intern in 2000.
Traci Johnson has been with the Tampa Bay Times since she was an intern in 2000. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]
Published Sept. 4, 2020

Traci Johnson has been named deputy editor for sports at the Tampa Bay Times.

Johnson, a 20-year veteran of the Times, has served as sports editor since March. Johnson, who started her career as a Times intern, is the first woman to run the newsroom’s sports staff.

“Traci Johnson is an outstanding journalist and leader,” said Mark Katches, executive editor and vice president. “She is the perfect person to lead our talented department.”

Here is how Katches described her in a note to the staff announcing her promotion:

“She throws perfect spirals. She can skate fast. She can slam dunk a basketball. Her penalty kicks are money. And she can hit a curveball. No one juggles more than Traci does. She’s a terrific editor, idea person, communicator and leader.”

Johnson, 41, joined the Times nearly 20 years ago as a summer intern. After she graduated from Troy University, the Alabama native joined the staff full time. She oversaw the newsroom’s preps and college sports coverage until her promotion to sports editor in March.

“In a year where our sports reporters have had to cover the intersection of sports, health and culture, Traci and her assistant editors, Frank Pastor and Anthony Perez, have done a tremendous job guiding the team over completely new ground,” said Carolyn Fox, senior deputy editor for engagement, sports and culture.

Added Johnson: “This market is an editor’s dream. Three pro teams. State college football programs that are rarely boring. And an area that attracts every conceivable sporting event from Super Bowls to Frozen Fours to Grand Prixs. Pinch me.”