Ellen Ryan, EVP and General Manager of data-acquisition and analytics company Screen Engine/ASI’s TV Group, died unexpectedly last week after a brief illness. She was 59. Company founder and CEO Kevin Goetz announced the news to staff but did not provide other details.

Goetz called her “one of the dearest, most talented and cherished members of our team, who is a legend in the television industry.”

Ryan began her three-decade TV research career in 1986 at ASI, where she managed content testing for most of the networks and studios in Hollywood and was a staple of pilot season.

In 1999, she moved to Knoxville, TN, and became VP Research at Scripps Networks, where she oversaw ratings and primary research for the HGTV and DIY brands.

Ryan joined Nielsen Content in 2012 and relocated back to Los Angeles to be closer to her ailing mother. There oversaw content and creative testing for all of the company’s major network, studio and streaming clients, and was instrumental in building its Multicultural research practice.

Her career came full circle in 2016 when she rejoined Screen Engine/ASI, running its TV group’s operations at its Valley Village facility, which just began a major restoration.

Service arrangements are pending. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Semper Fi Fund or Best Friends Animal Society.