LA Observed: Lights out for digital billboards

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A digital billboard in Highland Park. Photo by waltarrrrrvia Flickr/Creative Commons.

A digital billboard in Highland Park. Photo by waltarrrrr via Flickr/Creative Commons.

Clear Channel Outdoor and CBS Outdoor were required to turn off most of their digital billboards in Los Angeles by 5 p.m. today. That’s by order of L.A. Superior Court judge Terry Green.

These are 77 of the signs that the L.A. City Council green-lighted as part of a controversial settlement deal in 2006 that allowed the conversion of up to 840 existing billboards.

Summit Media, which was left out of the deal, challenged the arrangement and prevailed in court with its argument that the signs approved for its competitors violated city law.

The fate of another 22 operating electronic signs will be taken up in front of Judge Green tomorrow.

A Clear Channel spokesman said the company will turn off their signs, but will take “all legal steps” to get them turned back on.

Kevin Roderick from LA Observed joins KCRW’s Steve Chiotakis with more on this story.