Archives: Seasons 1-5
Production Notes

Update: What's New in Billboards


When we first aired the billboard series, we weren't sure what to expect in terms of a reaction.  Now, two months later, the story has been picked up by NPR, the New York Times and several local media outlets. It also got the attention of the LA City Council.


As soon as today - December 18th - Los Angeles may have a three month temporary ban on all new signage.  The city council voted yesterday to approve the ban and it now awaits the signature of Mayor Villaraigosa, who has stated he will support it.


This turn of events is a result, in part, of our story.  It's the kind of reporting that is so lacking in Los Angeles.  Few are doing the indepth reporting that is critical to keeping us a well informed society.   When is the last time a local tv station had a city hall reporter?  When is the last time any of them even had a reporter go to a city council meeting?

We usually rely on the LA Times or the Daily News to cover that beat.  With both of those papers imploding,  we at Socal Connected feel it's our job to fill in those gaps. The billboard story is a good example of what we think is lacking in LA news. And it's where we think we can be successful storytellers.  So keep the story ideas coming!!

The image associated with this post was taken by Flickr user douglasspics.


LEAVE A COMMENT Leave Comment  

Dear KCET:
Thank you for running the series on Billboard Blight in LA.
It is so important to keep the people of LA informed on what our "elected" officials are doing to our City. One must ask what is the common goood of giant eletronic billboards, how do
they improve the quality of life of the people of LA? Why do our City officials, our Council members continulally vote in favor of more blight, bigger digital billboards? Why doesn't the City enforce it's own laws on illegal billboards?
The answer can only be to further their (the city officials) political careers ( money contributions?) or simple laziness.
Can the KCET reporters "follow the money" to see who is benifiting from all these giant eyesores? It certainly isn't LA's residents.

Tax the billboards or outlaw them. Never allow any on public property.

with califonia's and LA's budget deficits, it is criminal that elected officials fail to utilize such a windfall opportunity for revenue stream. We need to mobilize and expose the crookedness in our officials. Have a look at the following series:

paris: vélo liberté
"In order to fund and implement such a large-scale system quickly, the city of Paris created a partnership with JCDecaux, one of the largest advertising agencies in France. The city of Paris allowed JCDecaux to install roughly 1,400 large advertising displays throughout the city, an approximate 60 million dollar value per year in outdoor media space. In exchange, JCDecaux agreed to pay for the initial construction and all the costs associated with running the Vélib’ system for the first ten years"

To fund a inner city program, the city allowed small (2x3'?) scrolling advertising displays directed to a pedestrian consumer. in return, the city got about 43k/display. note: they were not led displays that distract drivers.

just like public airwave spectrum produce revenues for public use, we are apparently letting others walk away with a valuable source of income. it is not enough to simply call a halt to new signs, remove a few or grandfather in old signs, we need to monetize our public property for the good of the people.

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