AUSTIN — Texas Newspaper Foundation is proud to announce Florentino “Tino” Duran, Martin L. “Red” Gibson and Fred Hartman as inductees in the Texas Newspaper Foundation Hall of Fame for the year 2014.
The induction ceremony will take place during the Texas Press 2014 Midwinter Conference and Trade Show at the Embassy Suites Dallas/Frisco Hotel and Conference Center in Frisco, Texas on Friday evening, Jan. 17.
Austin-based Texas Newspaper Foundation created its own hall of fame in 2006 to induct up to four men and women of the newspaper business each year. The first four, Roy Eaton, Alfred H. Belo, James Roberts and Staley McBrayer, were inducted in January 2007. Like them, the 2014 class of inductees posted clearly outstanding achievements and contributions to the newspaper industry and to their communities. A selection committee met Nov. 14 and picked three exemplary individuals from a field of 13 nominees.
INDUCTEES’ BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES
Described as a tough Alazan-Apache Courts kid, Florentino “Tino” Duran was expelled from six San Antonio elementary schools because he had a “discipline problem” — but the real problem was that he only spoke Spanish.
Determined to succeed, the young Duran mastered the English language, excelled in school and served as editor of the student newspaper at Sidney Lanier High School. After high school, Duran served four years in the U.S. Air Force and following military service attended San Antonio College, where he worked for The Ranger. He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in public administration from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio.
In 1963, he worked for the Bexar County Juvenile Probation Department and in 1964 was appointed an executive assistant in the Lyndon B. Johnson administration’s War on Poverty program. Duran went on to many noteworthy positions, such as executive assistant to San Antonio Mayor John Gatti, executive director of the San Antonio Housing Authority, president of the National Association of Hispanic Publications (NAHP) and executive vice president of the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
While serving as president of NAHP, Duran reopened La Prensa San Antonio in 1989, publishing twice a week as a bilingual newspaper with an equal number of Spanish and English articles. In 1992, NAHP included 783 publications with a targeted audience of English, Spanish and bilingual readers. As Latino publications continue to grow, Duran devotes his energies to serving the Hispanic community in the San Antonio area with print and online content.
Today, as president of Duran Duran Industries and publisher of La Prensa San Antonio, his efforts for the community through the newspaper and La Prensa Foundation have been recognized through numerous business and community involvement awards. Duran continually provides opportunities for young newspaper men and women to learn and grow, and his high standards serve as a beacon to all. Under Duran’s direction, La Prensa brings light to issues missed by the mainstream media, while offering a broad range of coverage from arts and entertainment to education and politics.
Duran and his wife and co-publisher Amelia J. Duran established La Prensa Foundation in 1995 to provide students with financial assistance to pursue their dreams of attaining a higher education. Mr. Duran credits Mrs. Duran with creating the foundation. She started with a budget of $1,000 and the support and encouragement of her dear friend, Lu Betancourt. By 2010, the foundation had raised and donated more than $2 million, thanks to corporate and individual contributions. Through the foundation, the Durans fund and distribute scholarships at Our Lady of the Lake College, the University of Incarnate Word and many other local colleges, while also funding the student-of-the-month award at Alamo Colleges.
Fred Hartman began his newspaper career as a sportswriter and eventually was named editor and publisher of the Baytown Sun, working for Carmage Walls and Southern Newspapers Inc. And thanks to Walls, he became a newspaper owner later in his career, although at heart, he remained a sportswriter.
From the time he was a youngster in Marlin, Texas, Hartman had a passion for sports. He marveled at the work of legendary sportswriters Grantland Rice and Damon Runyon, and how they brought athletic events to life on the printed pages of newspapers.
Hartman earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Baylor University and served as editor of the student newspaper, The Lariat. After college, while working at the Goose Creek Sun — which later was renamed the Baytown Sun — he saw how high school sports and a newspaper could bring a community together as he covered the Robert E. Lee High School Ganders.
Hartman was editor of the Sun and became publisher until Carmage Walls bought the newspaper in 1950. Hartman became Walls’ point man in Texas as Walls acquired newspapers in the Lone Star State.
In Baytown, Hartman groomed and mentored a number of newspapermen who went on to become publishers and owners, including Jim Hale, Bob Gilmore, Jim Boone, Jim Nabors, Les Daughtrey, Bill Hartman (his son), Bruce Morrisse, Clyde King, Dwight Moody, Noble Welch, Jerry Strader, Charles Moser, Leon Brown, John Black, Ernie Zieschang, Mike Probst, Bill Cornwell and Mike Graxiola.
Hartman moved from the Sun in 1974 to become chairman of Southern Newspapers Inc. until his retirement in 1983. He then started his own newspaper company by purchasing newspapers in Brenham, Rockport, Port Lavaca and Madisonville from Southern. The Brenham, Rockport and Port Lavaca newspapers eventually were acquired by Hartman’s son, Bill, and grandsons Fred and Lee of Hartman Newspapers L.P.
Hartman founded the Houston chapter of the Baseball Writer’s Association of America and was a press box mainstay through the years with the Houston Buffs, Colt .45s and Astros. He was known to have broken Major League Baseball’s “no cheering in the press box” rule, occasionally. Hartman served as president of the Texas Daily Newspaper Association in 1965 and in 1978 was honored as the recipient of the association’s Pat Taggart Award for Newspaper Leader of the Year.
Hartman died in 1991 at age 83. He was married to Betty Hartman and they had two children, Mary Brown and Bill Hartman, and four grandchildren. In 1986 Baytown Chamber of Commerce named Hartman Man of the Half Century and in 1995 a $100 million 2.6-mile cable bridge on State Highway 146, spanning the Houston Ship Channel to connect Baytown and La Porte, was opened and named the Fred Hartman Bridge in his honor.
The Fred Hartman Excellence in Sportswriting Award was established by Hartman’s family in 1992 and is presented each summer at the Texas Press Association annual awards banquet.
Martin L. “Red” Gibson died at age 59 in 1993. His work experience included stints and the Austin American-Statesman, the New York Daily News, the Chicago Tribune, the Houston Chronicle and the Galveston Daily News. He perhaps was best known, however, as a University of Texas at Austin professor of journalism, where in 24 years of teaching he developed into one of the best friends of community journalists across Texas. He conducted state and regional workshops and the books he wrote on journalism became bibles for editors.
The red-haired and freckled Gibson started life in Colorado City, Texas, where he spent summers chopping and picking cotton, driving trucks and mixing mortar for a bricklayer before graduating from high school there. He attended Texas Western College in El Paso and the U.S. Naval Academy where, he explained, calculus stymied him. In 1955 he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from North Texas State College in Denton, now the University of North Texas. After covering sports at the Galveston Daily News for a year, he joined the U.S. Army and edited a newspaper for the 10th Infantry Division in Wurzburg, Germany. In 1959, he earned a master’s degree in journalism at Northwestern University while working on the copy desk at the Chicago Tribune.
The Houston Chronicle hired him as a copy editor in 1960. By 1965 he was night editor but he left to teach journalism at North Texas State in Denton. He joined the faculty at the University of Texas at Austin in 1969 and earned a doctorate there in 1973. He held the university’s Philip G. Warner Regents Professorship in Communication.
In 1981 he became the first recipient of the American Press Institute’s Ottaway Fellowship for consulting and teaching and in 1982 he won a Fulbright award to teach and critique newspapers in New Zealand.
His column, “Black and White and Red All Over” was published by Texas Press Association and he wrote a column, “The Newspaper Tuner,” for the Freedom Newspapers group. He wrote the widely used journalism textbooks “Editing in the Electronic Era” and “The Writer’s Friend” and he conducted journalism workshops in nine states and two provinces of Canada. He served terms as president of the Gulf Coast and Texas chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists.
Gibson was remembered soon after his death by his colleague Dr. Wayne Danielson of the UT Department of Journalism. “Red liked to work surrounded by stacks and stacks of paper — newspapers, letters, old class notes, exams, stories written by students, book chapters he was editing,” Danielson wrote. “He liked to have words around him at all times. He was comfortable with words and words comforted him.”