Former Tampa Tribune sports reporters discuss the newspaper’s legacy

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"It’s still a little surreal," says 33-year former Tampa Tribune sports reporter Roy Cummings when talking with me in our hallways here at Bright House Sports Network.

Cummings, along with former colleagues Ira Kaufman and Joey Johnston sat down with BHSN’s Rishi Barran, for a gabfest on all things on the now defunct Tampa Tribune and TBO.com.

Competitor newspaper Tampa Bay Times purchased the Tribune on Tuesday and promptly shut it down, laying off over 100 employees.

“The Tribune really represented the city of Tampa,” Joey Johnston said, the longtime Tribune college sports beat reporter. “It (Tampa Tribune) was gritty, audacious, a little sassy, fun. Tampa is an interesting colorful place and I’d like to think the Tribune always reflected that.”

Most sports fans in this area know of Cummings for his reporting on the Bucs. He was also the first Tampa Tribune Lightning beat writer.

“It’s an iconic institution in the city," Cummings said. "The fact that I was a part of it for 33 years, I’m proud of that.”

Ira Kaufman is the colorful reporter with the New York accent, who’s claim to fame besides being versatile, is the pitch man for Tampa Bay area football greats, in trying to get them voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Kaufman says it all started with Tom McEwen.

“It’s the people and a special something for Tom McEwen for setting the tone all those years," said Kaufman. “He (McEwen) was ‘the man’ in this town. We always felt we were a little bit of an underdog.”

All three — Kaufman, Cummings and Johnston — hope they can continue to report on sports in the Tampa Bay area.

This story is running on Your Sports Tonight and Your Sports Today through Friday afternoon. We may run more of what they had to say and some of their great stories on some different platforms, and you will continue to see all three give their opinions as guests on our Press Box segments. Stay tuned!

Bay News 9 – local-news

May 5, 2016 |

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