Distinguished music industry executive Ed Hardy dies at 73

NASHVILLE, TN – Ed Hardy, respected music industry executive and influential leader, died on July 31, 2022. He was 73 years old.

Born October 1948 in Cleveland, OH to Edward B. and Rita M. Hardy, Ed Hardy was a beloved husband, father, leader and mentor. He graduated from Kent State University in 1971 where he studied communications and journalism.

A dedicated contributor to the growth and expansion of the music industry, Hardy began his career working at local radio stations throughout Ohio. He then spent much of the mid-1990s building Deschutes River Broadcasting from a single AM/FM radio station in Tri-Cities, WA, to a collection of 19 stations, operating in Pacific Northwest markets. The sale of its radio group enabled the growth of Citadel Radio. Hardy then served as President and CEO of Internet streaming audience measurement company, MeasureCast, from 2000 to 2002. He was also a consultant for MediaBlue/Nox Solutions, the leading provider of design products , hosting and running websites for nationally broadcast and networked radio show hosts.

In 2004, Hardy took over as chairman of Great American Country (GAC), when Scripps Networks acquired GAC. The move marked his return to Scripps after a successful career as general manager of stations in Louisville and Denver and nine years as vice president of Scripps-owned radio properties, KUPL AM/FM in Portland, OR. After guiding GAC through a move to Nashville and a complete brand transformation during his eight-year tenure, Hardy announced his retirement in 2012.

Active in the Nashville community, Hardy was the current chairman of Music City Inc. (the board of directors of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp Foundation) and active in Operation Song. His work with Operation Song married his experience with the military, 20 years as an officer in the US Army Reserves where he attained the rank of major, and his passion for music. Hardy served loyally on the Country Music Association (CMA) Board of Directors from 2005-2017 and received the CMA President’s Award in 2013 for outstanding service to the CMA. He also served from 2014 to 2021 on the board of directors of the CMA Foundation. He served as chairman of the board of directors of WO Smith Community Music School in Nashville and chairman of the board of directors of the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation. He also served as interim CEO of the Country Music Association in 2013. Hardy was also a member of his alma mater, Bedford High School’s Hall of Fame in his hometown of Bedford, OH.

In 2014, he received the President’s Award from the Country Radio Hall of Fame.

Hardy also spent five years as a reserve police officer.

Hardy is survived by his wife, Kim Susan Hardy, Jacob and Stephanie (Hardy) Kasbrick (son-in-law and daughter) and his grandchildren Emmie Jeanne and Bear Weller and his cousins ​​Patrick M Hardy (Las Vegas), Thomas A. Hardy (Saco, ME), Catherine A. Hardy (Bedford, OH), and John J. Hardy (Bedford, OH).

More details to come regarding a celebration of Hardy’s life taking place at the WO Smith School of Music.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Hardy’s honor may be made to WO Smith School, MTSU’s Daniel’s Center and Operation Song.

Comments are closed.