Paul Hogan/Photo courtesy Andy Smith.
By Joe Registrato, AliveTampaBay Contributing Editor
Former Tampa Tribune Managing Editor A. Paul Hogan, 83, died Monday in Smith Station, Alabama, after a long illness.
Mr. Hogan was born in Canton, Georgia, and was a newspaper reporter, writer and editor all his life. During a time when real ink was used to print newspapers, it might have been said that Mr. Hogan had the stuff in his blood.
Mr. Hogan steered the Tampa Tribune through good times and bad, including the transition from manual typewriters to desktop computers, a change that wasn’t always easy for the older reporters and editors.
Mr. Hogan also led The Tribune through perhaps its most difficult period, when the Tampa Bay Times, then the St. Petersburg Times, made the move to increase its presence in Tampa and Hillsborough County, abandoning what had been a hands-off policy of years past for an aggressive approach that eventually led to The Times buying The Tribune outright. Before and during that time, Hogan fought a pitched battle, sometimes with forces within the company itself, whose policies he did not believe in.
But Mr. Hogan never gave up the fight, even when out-of-town corporate leaders made things virtually impossible for The Tribune to continue being the strong political force it had been for years.
Those who worked with Hogan every day, his reporters, editors, photographers, and artists knew him to be an aggressive newsman who wanted to get the story, but also a compassionate human being, whose realized the staff was made up of human beings with families.
“God created Hogan to be a newspaper man. He had three passions: his family, The Tribune and Tampa,” said Paul Catoe, a long-time friend.
Mr. Hogan never hesitated to go to bat for his people. He fought a constant battle with the upper management over money for salaries and other resources so that he could keep The Tribune competitive with other Florida newspapers, especially The St. Petersburg Times, a battle he did not always win.
Mr. Hogan was always quick to use his Southern charm and wit. Richard Urban, who managed the East Hillsborough and other suburban editions of The Tribune for years, remembered that after leaving The Tribune, a person from another newspaper called Mr. Hogan and asked if Urban had any bad habits, to which Mr. Hogan replied in his characteristic Southern drawl, “Well, he’s been known to take a drink from time to time.”
Urban remembered that Mr. Hogan had his reserved parking spot at Tampa Bay Buccaneers football games where he held court before and after every game.
Mr Hogan was a Buccaneer fan through and through. There was a time when there were two professional football teams in Tampa, the National Football League Bucs and the new team from a rival league, the Tampa Bay Bandits. Hogan would say, “Yes, the Bandits are a lot of fun, but the Bucs, now wait a minute that’s serious.” Then he’d laugh out loud at the silliness of referring to a football game as “serious” in any sense of the word.
A funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, November 19, 2016, at Smiths Station Baptist Church, with Reverend David Kees officiating. Interment will be at Lakeview Memory Gardens and the family will receive friends Friday evening from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. at Vance Memorial Chapel.
Mr. Hogan was a sports writer for the Columbus Enquirer from 1951-1956 and covered politics for the Birmingham News from 1956-1960, where he reported on the civil rights movement. From 1960 to 1987 he worked at The Tribune, the last 13 years as managing editor. He was twice chairman of Leadership Tampa, a program of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce. In 1997 he was inducted into the Florida Freedom of Information Hall of Fame, and he was twice president of the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors. He served as a deacon at the First Baptist Church of Tampa.
He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Charlene Dykes Hogan; four children: Candace Hogan, Smiths Station; Carla Adkins and husband Butch, Greenup, Ky; Carol McDonnell, Tampa; Alton Paul Hogan, III, Jacksonville.
In lieu of flowers, donations in honor of Paul Hogan may be sent to TWB (Together We Build) Smiths Station Baptist Church, P. O. Box 189 Lee Road 430 Smiths Station, AL. 34877. Online condolences may be made at fancememorialchapel.net.
Editors Note: Joe Registrato was a news reporter, assistant city editor, city editor and assistant managing editor of The Tampa Tribune from 1971 to 1987.
See Get Well, Paul Hogan! by Joe Registrato from Aug. 17 at our PEOPLE & PLACES tab.
Joseph J. Registrato is a journalist and lawyer. He was a news reporter, assistant city editor, city editor and assistant managing editor of The Tampa Tribune from 1971 to 1987. After graduation from Stetson College of Law, he was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1989, and was an assistant state attorney with the Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office from 1989 through 1991. He was in the private practice of law for more than twenty years in the areas of family law, criminal defense and appellate practice. He is now an assistant public defender at the Hillsborough County Public Defender’s Office of Julianne Holt. He is a U. S. Marine Corps veteran and served in the conflict in the Republic of Vietnam in 1968-1969. Registrato is a contributing editor of AliveTampaBay.com.