Nashville Scene Editor Jim Ridley Has Died | Nashville Public Radio

Nashville Scene Editor Jim Ridley Has Died

Apr 8, 2016

Jim Ridley started writing for the Scene in 1989, as the paper's film critic.
Credit Southcomm

Jim Ridley, editor of Nashville's preeminent free weekly newspaper, the Nashville Scene, has died at age 50. 

Eleven days after suffering what the Scene calls "a cardiac event" during work, the paper's former managing editor Jack Silverman made the announcement at the Scene's website. Silverman says Ridley never regained consciousness. 

Ridley's witty and insightful film reviews started appearing in the paper in 1989, when the Scene was a new, independent startup. He quickly became one of the paper's most beloved contributors. 

Jack Silverman tells WPLN's Emily Siner that Ridley's writing was "simply brilliant."

"You know, it sounds maybe like hyperbole now, but it's not," Silverman says. "And I think people who were fans of his writing realize he was one of the most gifted writers.”

Ridley has been the paper's editor since 2009, and Silverman says Ridley's work in that role made those around him shine: 

"People would read the stories and say, 'Wow, what a great writer you are, and deep down inside, you knew it was your writing but you knew he had massaged it and made it so much better.' "

Or as the Scene's news editor, Andrea Zelinski, put it: "You'd give him a story and it would come back with glitter all over it."

Zelinski credits Ridley for boosting her confidence as a journalist. She is moving to Texas soon to cover the state legislature there, so Friday was her last day at the magazine — a particularly difficult goodbye, she says.

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