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Clear Channel Outdoor files billboard suit against the city

From the NPT Inbox:

PHOENIX – September 4, 2009 – Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CCO), today announced it has filed a lawsuit charging the City of El Paso with violating a city ordinance which permitted the Company to install 17 digital billboards, an enormous project completed over several years at the expenditure of millions of dollars.

In the complaint, Clear Channel Outdoor charges that city officials cannot ignore this ordinance and requests the Court to order the City not to require that the Company remove any of its digital billboards.

In 2003, the City established a procedure that allowed the Company to obtain approval for the replacement of vinyl billboard faces with digital/LED faces. Clear Channel Outdoor obtained the required approvals and relied on the City’s issuance of permits in ordering 17 digital/LED displays and completing the replacement of vinyl billboards with digital/LED faces on 15 existing signs.

“We’ve done our best to compromise with city officials on this issue, but it’s clear that a third party is now needed in these negotiations,” said Tim Anderson, Vice President of Clear Channel Outdoor – Texas. “We are only asking that the City treat us fairly. We installed the digital billboards properly under the approved procedure, and the City’s change in position is unjust and will be detrimental to our business.”

About Clear Channel Outdoor
Clear Channel Outdoor (NYSE:CCO – News) is the world’s largest outdoor advertising company with close to one million displays in over 50 countries across 5 continents. In the United States, the company operates just under 200,000 advertising displays and has a presence in 49 of the top 50 Designated Market Areas. It also operates airport, rail, taxi and mall advertising businesses worldwide. Its Spectacolor (U.S.) and DEFI (international) divisions are the global market leaders in spectacular sign displays, including in New York’s Times Square. Clear Channel Adshel is the company’s international street furniture division, which operates over 3,500 municipal advertising contracts worldwide. Clear Channel Outdoor also operates digital displays and networks in most of its divisions. More information may be found by visiting

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Written by newspapertreeelpaso

September 4, 2009 at 9:22 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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14 Responses

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  1. Who didn’t see this coming?…I don’t blame them one bit.
    I wonder what its going to cost us to defend this lawsuit?

    Thank our anti business city council and the special interest whiners that think they know whats best for everyone else…Keep it up El everyone but the perpetual welfare cases out of the city so you can have a lovely uncluttered view of a ghost town.

    just one more step backwards..Way to go El Paso!


    September 4, 2009 at 11:29 am

  2. Robnelp- Get a clue! Clear Channel put up digital signs and thought the city would just cave in and let them have their way. Billboards digital/or traditional are a horrible tool for small business to use. Clear Channel keeps shouting that El Paso is “anti-business” yet a large billboard along I-10 is far to expensive for small business to purchase. Nobody is running Clear Channel out of town, we just won’t let them have free run of the city anymore.


    September 4, 2009 at 1:36 pm

  3. Why on earth would it hurt small business? Look around El Paso! Especially I-10, it is a sea of billboards and each of them are owned by clear channel so small business owners are we really helping each other out or are when putting more money in clear channels pocket. Clear channel outdoor is making approximately 70,000 (12 ads @ $5800each) on each digital billboard every 30 days, with 17 possible billboard installations for 1 year that’s El Paso putting $14M into Clear Channel’s pocket. How does that money go towards small business? Digital billboard are a saftey hazard and a distraction. Compromise for every digital billboard Clear Channel remove 12 nylon billboards.

    Jo Ana

    September 4, 2009 at 3:24 pm

  4. Boo hoo! So what’s good for El Paso may cost Clear Channel — a company that made $800 million last year — a couple thousand dollars in profit. Cry me an f-in river. Be sure to bring this lawsuit up the next time neocons brings up “frivolous lawsuits” and the need for lawsuit reform.

    Mega-corporations, please leave the people alone.

    No Symathy for Clear Channel

    September 4, 2009 at 3:56 pm

  5. Clear Channel got lit up for *OVER* 100 violations by the city on these boards.

    And they were put up legally?


    Juan Orozco

    September 4, 2009 at 4:27 pm

  6. I will personally sign an invitation from the citizens of El Paso for Clear Channel to leave.
    We shut down ASARCO. Let’s clean up the visual pollution.


    September 4, 2009 at 4:33 pm

  7. Wow it is amazing how people do not get informed or prefers not to be informed!

    The city decided to go “into” a deal by first agreeing to do this behind citizens backs; then when it was obvious they (your reps) would have to come out and tell you (the constituents) what they had done then they said NO!!! Mmmhhh do people get it now??

    Knowledge is Bliss

    September 4, 2009 at 8:20 pm

  8. Plato..
    I never used to term “small business” did so we’ll go with that..

    If billboards “digital/or traditional are a horrible tool for small business to use” and “far to expensive for small business to purchase”(to use your words)

    Why do they “small businesses” continue to purchase them month after month with money you say they don’t have, if they are so ineffective?

    On top of that there ARE smaller/less expensive and less effective billboards in other locations around town as well..there would be more but Council outlawed those many years ago (again anti business move) these boards were much more affordable to the “small business” owner.

    How much money Clear Channel or any of the other billboard companies charge or makes is really irrelevant, they have the same right to profit that any business does, even if you don’t like it.

    And how does this affect local businesses and events? Reducing the number of EFFECTIVE advertising venues is not a positive thing for local business. That’s how it affects local business.

    Re: Digital Billboards..If these billboards are such a distraction and safety hazard to drivers, what about the digital signs TXDOT has installed on the freeways and Montana Ave? They scroll thru different panels of information just like the commercial billboards.
    Don’t they require the driver to avert their attention to something other than the road? and what about those non digital billboards that flip from one ad panel to the other..

    How about bus bench ads and those ads on the trash cans on street corners, what about the signage on delivery and service trucks or city buses?

    How about the guys standing on every busy street corner in town holding signs and waving at drivers?

    Better add those in too right?


    September 4, 2009 at 8:33 pm

  9. good points rob. these other people posting a idiot tree huggers.

    ross peroterez

    September 5, 2009 at 11:46 am

  10. No business has a right to operate. There isn’t a right to profit OR a right to business in the Constitution. If the citizens of a community deem an activity a nuisance, and unwanted in in their community, they ought to have the right to ban that activity. Examples include prostitution and fireworks in the city limits.

    Nothing I hate more than corporate billionaire whiners. Boo f-in hoo!

    No Symathy for Clear Channel

    September 6, 2009 at 12:32 am

  11. So you know the score:

    Tim Anderson was an attorney for TXDOT, who wrote the FHWA, to get them to clarify their stance on digital billboards in Texas. He then worked with FHWA to clarify the language that would allow them along TXDOT roads–all as state employee.

    He then immediately goes to work for ClearChannel outdoor for big big money to get these installed all over the state. And now he’s the one suing you El Paso.

    He had a conflict of interest and capitalized on his position at TXDOT to make himself wealthy.

    This is the height of unethical personal and corporate behavior–and the city is the one being sued?

    Where’s the story on how they snuck all this past an electrical inspector when they KNEW what the real process was?

    Juan Orozco

    September 6, 2009 at 11:38 am

  12. the right to the pursuit of happiness does mean a man has the right to have a business if he can afford it and be successful. therefore he does have a right to operate.

    citizen kane

    September 7, 2009 at 11:27 pm

  13. Everyone has a right to do business. If they allowed them, which it’s obvious they did, then they should be grandfathered in. This isn’t a billboard issue – it’s that they allowed them – they can’t take it back now. There are many more pressing issues the city should be concerned with. I have questions. Keep El Paso Beautiful for example: who is paying for this, how are their hours tracked weekly monthly vacations – what are they actually doing for us how much are they paid? Why do most of our medians go unfinished. Redd road and westwind look terrible – but we have a bike trail on Helen of Troy – that mind you I never see anyone on. How much was that? Why are my property taxes to high but I’m paying for unmarried people at the city to have insurance? What the! Why are our public servants not receiving their raises – deferred – risking their lives every day but our city reps squander our money on sooo many things. Did you know our kids sports teams have to pay to use public parks to practice and play games. Geez! Where is all the big business coming to El Paso because our reps are doing such a great job? All I hear is they make it impossible to want to come here. I have so many questions but I email my rep from District one and she doesn’t even bother to respond.

    due process

    September 9, 2009 at 6:42 pm

  14. come too philadelphia,shoddy signs ugly signs empty billboards digital signs causing traffic accidents at night and no one realizes it’s the distraction causing their loss. billboard sign should be outlawed in the united states of america.united states atty general should do an investigation on t. anderson conflick of interest ps:outdoor signs take your EYES off the road. NO IF’s and’s or BUTS

    tony from philly

    September 22, 2009 at 9:51 am

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