Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This


City Attorney Insists Over 100 Digital Billboards Must Go Dark

Clear Channel Outdoor digital billboard (Facebook)
Stories like these are only possible with your help!
You have the power to keep local news strong for the coming months. Your financial support today keeps our reporters ready to meet the needs of our city. Thank you for investing in your community.

Late last year, the courts ruled that over 100 digital billboards in Los Angeles had to come down, but as of today they are still shining bright. Well, now L.A. City Attorney Carmen Trutanich is mad as hell and he's not going to take it anymore.

Trutanich held a press conference today to publicly call on CBS and Clear Channel Outdoor to turn out the damn lights, saying "the courts have spoken," according to City News Service.

The billboards were installed under a 2006 special legal settlement approved by the L.A. City Council that ended a previous lawsuit over the city's billboard inspection laws and fees. The settlement allowed CBS and Clear Channel Outdoor to convert 840 static billboards to digital signs in exchange for removing other static billboards.

Three years late, a Superior Court judge ruled the settlement illegal and "poison," and the city stopped issuing permits to the companies, but it was too late: Over 100 billboards owned by CBS and Clear Channel had already gone up. Both companies have tried to challenge the ruling, but to no avail, and Trutanich today hoped to remind them that the December, 2012 court decision was the end of the line for their appeals.

Support for LAist comes from

Clear Channel has remain doggedly devoted to their digital billboards; the company sent a letter to the city last month threatening to sue if their permits are revoked.

Trutanich, who is running for re-election, has already been taken to task today for his press conference on the digital billboard issue, with opponent Mike Feuer calling the event a "campaign stunt."

Digital billboards have been a force for relative good in L.A. in the past; the FBI has used them to help catch criminals, they've been used to promote causes like "saving" the Hollywood Sign, and they've enhanced Dodger pride by showing game scores. Otherwise, they're all about big, bright, advertising.

Why 100 Digital Billboards in L.A. Are Coming Down