Clear Channel complied with a court order and on Monday, pulled the plug on 67 digital billboards in the Los Angeles area.
Critics say the electronic billboards created a nuisance. But Clear Channel will try to get the signs turned back on.
“We transformed a number of our signs to digital after we were granted permits by the [Los Angeles] City Council," said Clear Channel spokesman David Grabert. "It’s important to note that these were unanimously approved by the council and the mayor, reviewed by the city attorney and there were also public hearings.”
Clear Channel and CBS made a deal with Los Angeles in 2006 allowing the media companies to set up about 100 digital signs.
Critics, including the Coalition to Ban Billboard Blight, have been trying for more than five years to get the billboards turned off. They say the lighted displays distract drivers and shine into people’s homes.
But Clear Channel said the digital signs generate good business through advertising and provide a way to beam important real time messages to the public.
"We’re also are able to put up information that aids in public safety for crisis situations related to natural disasters or earthquakes or even just when the traffic is really bad,” said Grabert.
Clear Channel said it’s considering legal and legislative moves to power the signs back up. But the company won’t say what those moves might be.