McHugh Joining Riney

The president of Hal Riney & Partners/Heartland here said the hiring last week of Peter McHugh from Fallon McElligott as creative chief signals a shift in focus at the agency.
McHugh takes over Feb. 17 as managing director and executive creative director, teaming with president Barry Krause to run the shop.
Three creative team directors will be hired next to serve under McHugh, Krause said. Money will be used to lure talent from the nation’s top shops, as Riney plans to redirect 30 percent of its salary budget to the creative side, Krause said.
The goal, he said, is to create the city’s premier creative shop. “Chicago is one of the least creative [agency] markets in the business,” Krause said. “We feel it’s a hell of a business proposition.”
McHugh worked at DDB Needham Chicago before joining Chiat/ Day (now TBWA Chiat/Day) in New York, where he served for a time as Lee Clow’s speechwriter. McHugh was later named executive creative director of Chiat/Day’s Toronto office before joining Fallon in Minneapolis.
McHugh said he was not looking for a job, but the opportunity to take Riney to a higher level lured him back to Chicago. “It was important to be more than just the creative director, but to have a say in running the shop,” McHugh said.
Riney/Heartland has been without a lead creative executive since Jonathan Harries left for Foote, Cone & Belding in August 1996. The restructuring has been in the works for more than a year, and Krause said more than 100 candidates were considered for the top post.