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TV Academy’s Lucy Hood Celebrated at Memorial

The conference center of the Television Academy will be named after Lucy Hood, who died of cancer at the age of 56, only nine months after becoming the organization’s president.

The announcement came Friday at the close of a memorial service for Hood (pictured) from the TV Academy’s elected chairman, Bruce Rosenblum, who recognized Hood as someone who “epitomized class, courage, quality.”

Hood’s death, and the search for a replacement, comes as the TV Academy is embarking on a major expansion of its facilities and fundraising push, targeted to the 70th anniversary of the group, which is best known for presenting the Emmys. Rosenblum said a ribbon-cutting on the facility that will bear Hood’s name is scheduled for December.

During the service Hood was remembered by a variety of friends and colleagues, as well as her husband, Rob Biniaz, who survives her along with their two children.

A former Fox executive who worked in a wide range of capacities at the company, Hood was an academic at USC’s business school before taking the TV Academy post. She was lauded as an early visionary in the area of mobile content — including the use of text messaging in connection with “American Idol” — as well as someone who eagerly mentored colleagues and engaged in charitable endeavors, including a project to assist poor villagers in West Africa.

During the memorial, one former colleague recalled then-News Corp. president Peter Chernin watching Hood wrangle the company’s various factions during a meeting, admiringly referring to her as “sweetly relentless.” Despite her short tenure, she was also credited with having invigorated the staff at the TV Academy and played an active role in the expansion plans.

Friends noted that Hood remained remarkably graceful even after receiving her diagnosis toward the end of 2013, telling one of them, “I don’t worry about getting Alzheimer’s anymore.”

Speakers included Adam Leipzig, Betsy Zeidman, Anthea Disney, Mitch Feinman, Jim Ellis, Maury McIntyre and Lisa Unsworth.

 

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