Jonni Hartman Rogers, a veteran public relations executive whose talent roster once included Bob Hope, David Hasselhoff, Forest Whitaker and her daughter Lisa Hartman Black, died of ovarian cancer Tuesday at her home in Franklin, TN. Her death was announced by her husband of 22 years, Ray Rogers, formerly of the musical troupe Ray Rogers and the Bojangles and owner of Houston’s popular venue Club Bojangles.
Born and raised in Tennessee, Hartman Rogers, whose actress daughter Lisa is the wife of country star Clint Black, began her career at Houston’s KPRC-TV, becoming the city’s first female television producer. After moving to Houston’s KHOU-TV, she founded a public relations firm with Mack Newberry, with clients including Evil Knievel and Astroworld Theme Park.
After a stint in New York, Hartman Rogers moved to Los Angeles in 1978 to join Rogers & Cowan, and during the 1980s she co-founded, with daughter Terri, the public relations firm Slade, Grant, Hartman and Hartman, counting among their clients Hope, Hasselhoff, Whitaker and Brenda Vacarro. Corporate clients included dick clark productions, Zev Braun Productions and the Comedy Store’s five locations. She also was an adviser and consultant for producer Aaron Spelling.
Author Fannie Flagg dedicated a 2013 eBook publication of her Fried Green Tomatoes and two other novels to her, calling Hartman Rogers “my friend and press agent for over thirty years.”
In 2002, Hartman Rogers relocated to Nashville to coordinate business operations and public relations for Lisa Hartman Black and Clint Black, who survive her. Other survivors include her husband; daughter Terri Footnick and husband; stepson Chris Rogers; three grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the charitable organization of your choice. A private family observance was held in Nashville.