Television News Pioneer Roy Hardee Dead At 79

A well-known journalist and news pioneer who called Eastern Carolina home has died.

Roy Hardee passed away Thursday morning. Hardee covered news in Eastern Carolina for more than five decades.

He worked as a reporter, a photojournalist and managed news departments at two television stations here in Eastern Carolina. Hardee worked at both WITN and WNCT as news director. He worked at WITN twice…first from 1972 to 1982 as news director and again in 1998 and 1999 as a news manager at our Greenville Bureau.

Hardee’s dedication to broadcasting resulted in the North Carolina Associated Press naming an award in his honor. He was also named news director of the year at the Radio and Television News Directors Association of the Carolinas in 1996.

Hardee was married to Margaret Hardee, who was director of the Pitt County Board of Elections for many years.

His son says his father died early Thursday morning at a hospice in Kansas City. Lee Hardee said his father had been suffering from complications from advanced Parkinson's disease.

Roy Hardee died in his wife's arms. Our thoughts are with his family.


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  • by Lee Hardee Location: Shawnee, KS on Apr 5, 2010 at 11:48 AM
    I would like to thank all of you for the kind comments and for sharing your fond memories of my Dad. I often told him that he was the only person I knew that could look in the mirror and honestly say they were the best at their chosen profession. He loved the news. He was a great husband, father, teacher and newsman. I want to thank all of you in the press for the news stories about his life and career. We are having a "Press Conference" to celebrate his life on Saturday, April 24th, 2010 at 2:00 p.m. at the Hilton Hotel, Greenville, NC. You are invited to attend. Thanks, Lee.
  • by Tom Ditt Location: Raleigh on Apr 3, 2010 at 04:43 AM
    Roy's legacy of who, what, when, where, why, and how is found in every journalist who worked for him. Roy told the story of countless ENC events from county boards to Hurricane Hazel and made sure his reporters did as well. Every VO and SOF told a story. I will miss him but know that I have been blessed by knowing him.
  • by Angie Vanlue Location: Sacramento, CA on Apr 2, 2010 at 03:21 PM
    Roy Hardee was the kind of old school newshound I'll always aspire to be. He knew the business. He knew news and most importantly he knew people. I'll miss the piercing stare, the grumbling voice and the Chapstick. Roy you were one of a kind! I'll miss you.
  • by Anne Reynolds-Doerr Location: Boston, MA on Apr 2, 2010 at 07:00 AM
    Roy took a chance on me and gave me my first job in TV at WNCT. He was a great teacher, encouraging, positive and most importantly, he always had my back. We'll never forget you Roy! Rest in Peace.
  • by Pirateman Location: Greenville on Apr 2, 2010 at 06:57 AM
    A piece of Pitt County is void now. He personified this area of the world. I am happy we had him. I am sad he is gone. I will always smile when I think of him, then I will be sad we don't have him now.
  • by Thom Berry Location: Columbia, SC on Apr 2, 2010 at 05:45 AM
    The business has lost a great talent and I have lost a friend. Roy and I were part of the former Radio-Television News Directors Association of the Carolinas back in the late 70's and early 80's. We worked together on projects to get cameras into the courtrooms in the Carolinas and many others. Godspeed, Roy, and my condolences to his family.
  • by Kelsi Location: greenville on Apr 1, 2010 at 06:11 PM
    I watched dave marcheskie's piece on roy tonight and it made me cry. I met him over 20 years ago and thought he was such an interesting person. good job witn for remembering roy hardee in such a classy manner.
  • by Anonymous on Apr 1, 2010 at 05:09 PM
    I remember watching this guy when I was a kid in the 70's and off and on with his time on TV.We need more dedicate real truthful people like him to air the truth.GOOD JOB HARDEE!And peace be with you.
  • by Linda Shore Location: Sun City, AZ on Apr 1, 2010 at 12:16 PM
    Roy was my news director during the mid-80's. He was the consummate newsman. He would even jump in the car with me to cover a news story, reporter's notepad in hand! His adrenaline was unmatched...especially during hurricanes! Roy was also my friend and I will miss him dearly. I can still hear him calling me "Linder"! It makes me smile. My deepest condolences to Margaret, Lee and the rest of the Hardee family. (Lee, if you happen to read this, please send me your home address at n2newz@yahoo.com). You were the best in the business, Roy. Love you and miss you. Linda Shore Sun City, Arizona
  • by Neal Location: Winterville on Apr 1, 2010 at 11:44 AM
    Although Roy was my competitor when I was a reporter at WITN...and later his equal when I became the news director, he was always a friend. Nothing but respect & gratitude for him.
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