CNN’s News for Hill, Holliday

Shop Beats Richards, DiNoto Lee, Margeotes, Saatchi
BOSTON–Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos here will soon be awarded a $15 million branding assignment from Turner Broadcasting System’s CNN in Atlanta following a review, sources said.
The deal was awaiting approval from top client executives last week, sources said.
Hill, Holliday beat finalists The Richards Group in Dallas and DiNoto Lee, Margeotes/Fertitta + Partners and Saatchi & Saatchi, all in New York, to win the new assignment. Undisclosed others may also have pitched. DiNoto Lee handles CNN’s Headline News account; that relationship is not affected by the selection of Hill, Holliday, sources said.
“It’s not a done deal,” cautioned Hill, Holliday representative Eric Fehrnstrom. “We’re still in an internal process” of gaining final approval. Client officials did not return calls.
Hill, Holliday will be charged with developing an overall brand image for CNN, which has been under increasing pressure from competitors such as MSNBC and News Corp.’s Fox News Channel.
Hill, Holliday’s experience with media clients includes more than a decade as lead agency for The Boston Globe. Before that account bolted in 1993, the agency and client collaborated on several award-winning campaigns in a variety of media.
One source said Hill, Holliday received some help on the CNN pitch from freelance creative director Don Easdon, who in the ’80s helped create some of the shop’s best-known campaigns. Easdon could not be reached for comment. Creative director Mike Sheehan said only Hill, Holliday staff worked on the CNN pitch. –with Judy Warner