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Broadcasters Mourn Loss of Longtime Engineer Wayne Hardin

- One of TAB’s Original ABIP Inspectors

Wayne Edwin Hardin, one of TAB’s original ABIP inspectors, passed away June 8, in Lakeview, Arkansas.  He was 91.

Hardin retired from TAB’s Alternative Broadcast Inspection Program nearly 15 years ago when he sold his Austin area home and moved out of state.

Although he no longer practiced broadcasting as a profession, Wayne continued to enjoy amateur radio activities with his fellow ham operators. 

He was born May 17, 1931, in Hunt, Texas, the son of Lafayette Lee and Fannie Isabelle DuBose Hardin. 

From an early age he showed an interest and aptitude in electronics and broadcasting. 

By the time he graduated from high school he had already done work for local stations in the Kerrville area and a radio repair shop.

Wayne served in the U.S. Navy in the 1950’s as Radioman First Class and later as the chief engineer of KTLG, an AFRTS radio station in the Philippines.

He married Carol Noel on August 23, 1958, in Kerrville, and the couple had two daughters, Julie and Lisa.

But it was not always an over-the-air broadcast career for Hardin.

He worked for nearly 10 years at Tracor, Inc., in Austin as the head of a division that manufactured and tested military grade electronics.

Hardin earned top secret clearance in the process.

He joined the Pioneer Broadcasting Company in 1973, which owned and operated KNOW-AM and KCSW-FM Austin.

From there Hardin worked at KVET Broadcasting Company until 1987 and was responsible for the technical operations of KVET-AM and KASE-FM Austin.

During the early 1980’s he founded TAB Associate member Hardin Enterprises, a support engineering services firm for radio and TAB stations.

Hardin was highly active in the Society of Broadcast Engineers, serving as secretary, treasurer, and chairman of SBE Chapter 79 in Austin, and was a recipient of the SBE Distinguished Service Award.

He started serving on the State of Texas Emergency Communications Committee in the 1980’s and worked with Ann Arnold, TAB’s late president, to develop the first Texas State EAS Plan in 1996.

Hardin was involved with the plan’s revisions and worked as technical consultant for TAB on EAS regional districts.

In 1997 he became one of the four original TAB ABIP inspectors.

For the next decade, he and his wife traveled throughout Texas, inspecting hundreds of radio and television stations throughout the state, and helping stations achieve compliance with FCC regulations.

His reports were thorough as well as the recommendations he made to help stations achieve FCC compliance.

Hardin enjoyed using his decades of broadcast expertise to help educate and inform stations through his ABIP work.

He retired from TAB’s ABIP in late 2007 and moved to Arkansas in 2008.

Hardin is survived by his wife, daughters, grandson and two great grandchildren.

A graveside service was held earlier this week in Lakeview, Arkansas with military honors provided by the United States Navy and the Alley-White American Legion Post #52 Honor Guards.

Wayne will be missed by his TAB family and will be remembered fondly by the many Austin-area broadcast engineers he mentored through the years.

Questions? Contact TAB’s Michael Schneider or call (512) 322-9944.

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