September 10, 2015 Last Updated 11:17 am

Clear Channel Outdoor and Vertical Bridge announce national partnership for wireless deployment on billboards

A few years back, when I still considered publishing TNM only a part-time gig, I interviewed at Clear Channel Outdoor in Chicago. They were looking for sales leadership.

After an initial interview with the VP in charge, I was brought back in to interview with a group of the company’s managers. It was, without doubt, the strangest interview I’ve experienced.

The company was struggling selling their old printed billboards. Sales for the new digital ones were great, on the other hand. But the managers strongly believed the goal of the new sales leader was to boost traditional ad sales. Screw digital, they needed to shove the old technology down the throats of their customers and they needed someone to lead that effort. Needless to say, I told them I was not their guy, and that ended that.

Time moves on, and what a surprise digital hasn’t gone away, and those old printed billboards remain in decline. Who would have thought? (like everybody except those managers, who are likely all gone now)

Here is a new announcement about Clear Channel’s new agreement with Vertical Bridge, a company they are partnering with on 40,000 units (note: comments disabled on this post as apparently Chinese spammers target anything that says “Clear Channel”):


LAS VEGAS, Nevada – September 10, 2015 — Vertical Bridge, the largest U.S. private owner and manager of wireless telecommunication infrastructure and Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc., a subsidiary of iHeartMedia Inc., today announced the signing of an exclusive multi-year agreement for the management and marketing of wireless deployment on Clear Channel Outdoor America’s (CCOA) billboards and other out-of-home assets in 45 of the top 50 U.S. markets. This agreement, covering more geography and out of home inventory than any similar agreement in the U.S., was announced at The Wireless Association’s CTIA Super Mobility 2015 conference in Las Vegas.

“Today’s agreement enables wireless carriers to better serve millions of consumers across Clear Channel’s vast network around the country, and we are always pleased to find win-win opportunities to further monetize our valuable portfolio of assets.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Vertical Bridge will have exclusive rights to antenna and small cell site deployment across CCOA’s multi-platform footprint. These small cell base stations will significantly improve concentrated bandwidth and enable capacity increases for mobile services, while enhancing the user experience.

With the addition of CCOA’s assets, Vertical Bridge will own or manage a portfolio of over 40,000 attractive billboard, tower, rooftop, utility attachments and other site locations that are geographically dispersed across urban, suburban, traffic corridor and rural areas. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“We are very pleased to broaden our relationship with iHeartMedia through this partnership with Clear Channel Outdoor Americas,” said Alex Gellman, CEO, Vertical Bridge. “Growth in mobile data traffic is driving network demand, and the top U.S. carriers are in the midst of a significant investment cycle to maintain the reliability and performance of their networks. We believe billboards will play an increasingly important role in the deployment of all networks, and CCOA has the best locations for carriers who are looking to enhance services for mobile consumers.”

“Clear Channel Outdoor is consistently at the forefront of innovation leveraging our assets to help our partners reach today’s mobile, digital and social media consumers,” said Scott Wells, CEO, Clear Channel Outdoor Americas. “Today’s agreement enables wireless carriers to better serve millions of consumers across Clear Channel’s vast network around the country, and we are always pleased to find win-win opportunities to further monetize our valuable portfolio of assets.”

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