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Scripps Taps Country Vet For Exec Suite

10/31/2004 7:00 PM Eastern

Scripps Networks is bringing in a music-industry veteran to guide the transition and operations of its pending acquisition, Great American Country.

Ed Hardy, who made a career of running radio stations, will serve as senior vice president of Scripps Networks. Jeff Wayne will remain president of GAC, reporting to Hardy.

“Ed has an in-depth knowledge of the music industry and a proven record as a savvy media executive,” Scripps Networks executive vice president John Lansing said in a prepared statement. “He is the ideal person to jump-start the integration of GAC into Scripps Networks and to create new opportunities for growth for the network.”

Hardy is rejoining Scripps after a career that started with posts as local general manager for stations in Louisville, Denver and the Scripps-owned Portland, Ore., property. In the mid-1990s, Hardy expanded Deschutes River Broadcasting from a single AM/FM radio combination in Tri-Cities, Wash., to a collection of 19 stations in the Pacific Northwest.

Most recently, Hardy was CEO and president of MeasureCast, an Internet-streaming broadcast audience measurer.

Scripps is expected to finalize its $140 million buyout of GAC from Jones Media Networks in late November.