RIP: Cella Irvine

Digital media pioneer was 59.

Try to think, for a moment, what a vice president and general manager of new media at Hearst Corporation might have been working on. In 1994.

That was a critical juncture in the career of Cella Irvine, who passed away earlier this month at age 59 from thyroid cancer. From The New York Times obituary:

At Hearst, Irvine guided the company’s first digital ventures, including an interactive newspaper and the marketing of CD-ROMs.

Within two years she was the general manager of Sidewalk, an early online guide to local businesses started by Microsoft. Sidewalk, described as a digital version of urban newsweeklies, emerged as one of the most heavily trafficked sites on the internet. Ms. Irvine stepped down when the guide was sold to Citysearch in 1999.

Irvine went on from there to work for Digitas, the About Group and Vibrant Media. She was also a founding member and chairwoman of the New York New Media Association (NYNMA), which closed in December of 2003.

Condolences and memories are being shared via RIP.

Photo via: LinkedIn