GAC president to retire

Seven-year company veteran to take over at year's end

The man who led Great American Country’s relocation to Nashville from Denver eight years will retire from the cable network at the end of this year.

Ed Hardy has been president of GAC since Knoxville-based Scripps Networks Interactive acquired the company in 2004. He will be succeeded by Sarah Trahern, who was named general manager and senior vice president two years ago. Trahern, who has been with the network since 2005, will keep those titles in her leadership role.

“I am so proud of the GAC team and all we have accomplished in the last eight years,” said Hardy. “With few exceptions, I have spent most of the last 44 years involved in the media industry. Now, it’s time to take a break and do some things I have always wanted to do with my wife and partner, Kim. I won’t call it a ‘bucket list,’ but there is a list.”

Hardy came to GAC after helping grow Citadel Broadcasting into a national radio player. He had joined Citadel after turning a small radio company in Washington state into a 19-stations cluster throughout the Pacific Northwest. Citadel later bought that company.

“Ed Hardy assembled an incredibly gifted team and established GAC as the leader in country music entertainment,” said Scripps Networks Interactive President, Chairman and CEO Ken Lowe. “Under Ed’s leadership, GAC has expanded its distribution and grown its revenue. He’s led the way to GAC’s emergence as a credible force in a competitive media environment.”