The demise of DI Group has given rise to a new shop in Boston's South End.
Neeson/Pearl, named after partners Cheryl Neeson and Ron Pearl, will specialize in television design and promotions, which has become a lucrative niche. Neeson and Pearl set out on their own after DI Group's parent company, Wisconsin-based Banta, tried unsuccessfully to sell the 40-person shop and then shut it down late last year.
Neeson is executive producer, and Pearl serves as creative director. They have three full-time employees and a stable of freelancers, many of whom had worked for DI Group at one time.
Neeson/Pearl's first client is the Discovery Channel, which the partners helped launch while at DI Group. With experience promoting the Learning Channel, Animal Planet, the USA Network, ESPN International, the Food Network and the Home and Garden Network, Neeson and Pearl hope to attract more cable and broadcast clients.
They are not alone, however. Traditional advertising agencies and local design firms are also servicing similar company's. For example, Mullen in Wenham, Mass., is working for the Sci-Fi Channel, Outdoor Life and Speedvision. Hatmaker, a division of Corey McPherson Nash in Watertown, Mass., has serviced Nickelodeon, TNT and Lifetime. Boston-based LoConte Goldman Design's clients include ESPN, A&E Networks, ABC and NBC. Smash Advertising, also in Boston, works for Comcast Cable and Universal Television.
"It's a very healthy environment," Pearl said. "Everyone is launching new networks, and there are very few local companies that are capable entities."