In April, LA Weekly published a cover story about the city’s 4,000 illegal billboards and the newspaper’s legal struggle to get a simple list of billboards owned by Clear Channel Outdoor and CBS Outdoor. It seems that our “Billboards Gone Wild” headline made quite the impression on other media folks. The Daily News used our exact same headline on July 5, and now “Insider Exclusive” is doing the same, and here’s the clip.
“Insider Exclusive” is definitely worth watching, because it gets to the heart of why the city is doing nothing to stop the billboard-clutter crisis that has turned Los Angeles into the illegal billboard capital of the nation.
One of the more entertaining moments includes a 2006 clip of Los Angeles Councilmember Eric Garcetti blasting the press at a city council meeting for beating up on City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo’s settlement deal between the city and Visa Media, CBS Outdoor, Clear Channel Outdoor and Regency Outdoor.
Garcetti argues on this video that because of the settlement deal, 15 billboards owned by Vista Media would be taken down in his very own City Council District along Echo Park Avenue. “We can finally take those down,” Garcetti proclaimed.
But nope. Two years later, billboard activist and “Insider Exclusive” guest Dennis Hathaway drove along Echo Park Avenue and found that every single one of the 15 billboards were still standing.
Executive Producer and Host Steve Murphy interviewed Hathaway along with Community Redevelopment Agency Commissioner Alejandro Ortiz for the nine-minute segment.
Rumor has it that here are more billboard stories to come. According to sources, KCET has its own plan to develop a story about “Billboards Gone Wild.” Apparently the KCET producer was inspired after reading our Weekly cover story.