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Disney and NBA reach deal 'in principle' for TV rights

[new york] Walt Disney Co. and the National Basketball Associ-ation reached a deal in principle for ABC and ESPN to telecast NBA games beginning with the 2002-2003 season, according to people familiar with the talks. Disney's ABC would obtain broadcast rights now held by General Electric Co.'s NBC. In a separate agreement in principle, AOL Time Warner would acquire rights to run NBA games on its TNT and CNN/SI cable channels with the latter possibly revamped as AOL Sports and 50% owned by the NBA. An ESPN spokesman said it and the NBA were "still having conversations." Spokesmen for NBC and the NBA declined comment. Read more: AdAge.com QwikFIND AAM88G.

Ex- Lowe exec Kelly joins Martin agency

[richmond, va.] Former Lowe Lintas & Partners executive Bruce Kelly will join the Martin Agency as co-vice chairman in January. Mr. Kelly, 52, left Lowe in February; he had been its president-U.S. operations. Lowe and Martin are units of Interpublic Group of Cos.

Hill Holliday taps Sheehan as president

[boston] Mike Sheehan, president of Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos' flagship Boston office, was named president of the three-office agency (Boston, New York and San Francisco). The post had been vacant. Boston office Managing Director Karen Kaplan was named president of that office, succeeding Mr. Sheehan.

Grey link with 360 seen after BellSouth win

[new york] Grey Global Group's Grey Worldwide, New York, is expected to unveil a permanent arrangement with Atlanta-based integrated marketing firm 360 following last week's win by Grey, with assistance from 360, of BellSouth's $150 million account. An announcement could come this week.

Search on for kidnapped Brazil ad man

[sao paulo] Washington Olivetto, Brazil's best known adman, was kidnapped as he drove home from his ad agency, W/Brasil, in Sao Paulo on Dec. 11. His chauffeur-driven, armor-plated car was stopped by five men posing as police officers. Police are searching Sao Paulo for Mr. Olivetto, 50, W/Brasil's founder, president and creative director. More than 200 people have been kidnapped this year in Sao Paulo.

HP agency Goodby preps pro-merger ads

[palo alto, calif.] Hewlett-Packard Co. has prepared print ads targeting investors that tout the benefits of its proposed merger with Compaq Computer Corp. Omnicom Group's Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, handles. Agency officials declined to comment. HP did not return calls.

Lego taps Y&R London unit for Euro work

[london] Lego Group awarded European advertising to WPP Group's Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R, said people familiar with the review. Spending wasn't disclosed. A Lego spokesman was unable to confirm the appointment. Rainey Kelly declined to comment. Interpublic's Lowe Lintas & Partners handles Lego in North America.

FYI

Elizabeth Arden Inc. hired Omnicom's Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, to help develop a fragrance for the Elizabeth Taylor brand as part of a $15 million to $20 million assignment. ... Renee Milliaressis, 42, to chief operating officer, Bcom3 Group's MediaVest, New York, from president-strategic planning, MediaVest USA. Also, Richard Beaven, 35, to director of product development, MediaVest, from U.K. planning director at Bcom3's Starcom Motive, London. Both posts are new titles. ... Paul LaRocca to VP-sales promotion in the Interactive Marketing Group of AOL Time Warner's AOL unit, from VP-marketing, MTV. He will oversee creation of programs to more closely tie offline promotions to online programs. ... Cayman Islands Tourism gave its $10 million account to Lord Group, New York, sources said. Lord Group declined comment. O'Leary, Clark & Partners, New York, was the incumbent. ... USA Track & Field named North Castle Partners, Stamford, Conn., to handle its $4 million to $6 million branding account, after a review. ... Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Boston, and D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, Detroit, said they were wrongly named as creditors by Enron Corp. in its bankruptcy court filing (AA, Dec. 10). Interpublic's Hill Holliday said it split amicably with Enron in 1997 and was owed no outstanding sums. Bcom3 Group's D'Arcy said Enron had not been a client.

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