Riney grew up in Longview, Washington. He graduated from the University of Washington in 1954. After serving two years in the United States Army doing public relations in Italy, he joined BBDO San Francisco, moving from the mail room to head art director and finally creative director in 1968.
In 1970, he hired Paul Williams to write a song for a Crocker Bank commercial, which was later recorded by The Carpenters and become the hit "We've Only Just Begun". In 1976 he joined Ogilvy & Mather, building their West Coast office from scratch. In 1984, Riney created and did voiceover for the noted "Morning in America" and "Bear in the Woods" television commercials for the successful Ronald Reagan 1984 Presidential re-election campaign. After creating the Bartles & Jaymes campaign for E & J Gallo Winery, Riney resigned, but soon won the launch for Saturn Corporation. The agency was sold to Publicis in 1998.
Riney died at age 75 in 2008, from cancer, at his home in San Francisco.