The Television Academy is mourning the loss of one of its executives today.  Lucy Hood, President and Chief Operating Officer of the academy, lost her battle with cancer on Wednesday at the age of 56.

The announcement shocked the entertainment community, many of whom were unaware of the fact that she had the disease.

Photo Credit: Christopher Polk, Getty Images

A statement on the Academy's website reads, "With great collective sadness, the Television Academy shares news of the passing of Lucy Hood, our President and Chief Operating Officer."

The text of the official statement can be found below.

She had succeeded Alan Perris as President in June of 2013.  She was known as an innovator who developed an early passion for social and digital media.

Photo Credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez, Getty Images for Variety

The Recording Academy released a statement as well, saying, "...(T)he strides she made in her short time at the Television Academy will have a lasting impact on the industry..."

"It is with profound sadness that the Television Academy has learned of the passing of our dynamic and passionate President and Chief Operating Officer, Lucy Hood, after a courageous battle with cancer.  

“Our hearts and prayers go out to her husband, Rob, and her two children, Rachel and Benjamin,” said Television Academy Chairman Bruce Rosenblum in a statement released this afternoon to the staff, board of governors and officers of the Academy.  “Lucy was an innovator and thought leader, always focused on how to best serve an industry she loved. "

"In the all-too-short time Lucy led the Television Academy, her extraordinary impact and contributions were deeply felt throughout the organization," Rosenblum continued. "Lucy will be greatly missed.”

Lucy Hood enjoyed a trail-blazing career of more than two decades in media and digital content, renowned for career highlights that included launching text voting on American Idol, the hit Fox Network program – a first in American media.  

She was appointed President and COO for the Television Academy in June of 2013, charged with expanding the organization’s business and digital initiatives, while overseeing its day-to-day operations.  She served as the liaison to the Executive Committees and the Boards of both the Academy and its Foundation. 

Hood worked closely with the professional staff of the Academy and its Foundation on corporate sponsorships, membership activities and enrichment, board relations, marketing, financial planning, and many other facets of the organization.  

Most recently, she led the Academy’s rollout of its new brand identity and the announcement of a capital campaign to expand the campus and establish an endowment for the Academy’s Foundation. 

Prior to joining the Television Academy, Hood served as head of USC’s Communication Technology Management Institute with the Marshall School of Business, where she supervised forums for industry leaders and research into the Future of Media, with partners such as Disney, Warner Bros., Fox, Ogilvy & Mather, and leading technology companies.

Before that she enjoyed a long career at News Corporation working across a wide variety of Fox divisions and News Corp companies.

She started in the pay television, cable and syndication departments, eventually working at the intersection of television and technology for over a decade.  She forged new ground with her strategic insights as SVP of Content for News Corporation, and the building of alliances with companies such as Verizon, AT&T, Verisign, Jet Blue, and eBay.  

Hood was the founding President of Fox Mobile Entertainment, leading the team that created the “Mobisode®” and the first ad-sponsored mobile video. Their ground-breaking mobisode series, 24: Conspiracy, ran on mobile phones around the world, and was honored with a daytime Emmy® nomination for “outstanding achievement in video content for non-traditional delivery platforms,” as well as numerous other awards.  

In addition to her work with American Idol and the producers of 24, she and her team created content and advertising partnerships around TV shows such as Prison Break, Bones, and The Simple Life: Interns, as well as original content.  Hood was a key executive in launching numerous technology and entertainment businesses at Fox, including and FX Cable.

Hood also opened the first Hollywood-based office for HarperCollins publishers where, among other entertainment-based projects, she was instrumental in the acquisition of singer Jewel’s New York Times best-selling collection of poetry.

Previously, she was an executive at Paramount Pictures, and prior to that produced the ESPN news program, Business Times.

Hood was a much-sought after speaker at major industry events and business conferences such as Digital Hollywood, NATPE, CTAM, CES, E3, CTIA, and the Aspen and Milken Institutes.

She won numerous awards and citations from The Guinness Book of World Records, Ad Age, Adweek, and the Producer’s Guild. She held an M.B.A. from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business and a B.A. from Yale University. 

Hood was an enthusiastic participant in the Yale Alumni Service Corps, traveling annually to Ghana to foster entrepreneurial endeavors and support women in business in that country.

In addition to her husband Rob Biniaz and children, Rachel and Benjamin, Hood is survived by her father John Hood  (wife Laima) of New York, her mother Anne Hood of Pennsylvania, and siblings Sarah Hood, Kathy Hood and John Hood.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests a donation to Yale University earmarked for the “Yale Alumni Service Corps in memory of Lucy Hood” c/o João Aleixo, Yale Alumni Service Corps, 232 York Street, New Haven, CT 06511.

A memorial in celebration of Lucy Hood’s life will be scheduled in the near future."

       The Recording Academy® Statement re: Lucy Hood

Thursday, April 03, 2014

"We are saddened to hear of the untimely loss of Television Academy President and Chief Operating Officer Lucy Hood. Her passion for innovation and expansion, as well as her extensive experience in digital media, made her a true visionary and thought leader, both professionally and personally. Her significant contributions throughout her career were cutting-edge, and the strides she made in her short time at the Television Academy will have a lasting impact on the industry, and the organization, that she loved so much. Our deepest sympathies go out to her family, her friends and the staff of the Television Academy, all of whom undoubtedly will miss her greatly and will carry on her good work."