Filings with the SEC by Billboard Companies


A good deal of information may be gleaned from reviewing copies of the filings by various billboard companies with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). The site for reviewing SEC filings is located at:

The directions are easy to follow. Just type in the name of the company, even the first name will be enough, and all or nearly all filings will be displayed. To review a filing, just click on the document description on the left. Many filings also contain copies of acquisition agreements and other documents of interest.

For example, to review Clear Channel Communications’s Form 10-K for the 1997 year, the site is at:

Based upon that filing, one can learn that this communication giant owns not only billboards – but also television stations and radio stations and networks throughout Florida.

Among the radio stations are those in the Florida Keys – WAVK FM (Adult Contemporary), WKRY FM (Soft Adult Contemporary), WFKZ FM (Adult Contemporary); in Ft. Myers/Naples – WCKT FM (Country), WQNU FM (Country), WKII AM (Nostalgia), WXRM FM (Soft Adult Contemporary), WOLZ FM (Oldies); in Jacksonville – WZNZ AM (News), WNZS AM (Sports), WFSJ FM (Jazz), WROO FM (Country), WPLA FM (Rock), WBGB FM (Classic Rock); in Miami/Ft. Lauderdale – WFTL AM (News), WINZ AM (News/Sports), WIOD AM (News/Talk), WPLL FM (Rock), WLVE FM (Jazz), WZTA FM (Rock), WHYI FM (Contemporary Hits), WBGG FM (Classic Rock); in Orlando – WWNZ AM (News), WQTM AM (Sports), WSHE FM (Modern Rock), WJRR FM (Rock), WMGF FM (Adult Contemporary), WTKS FM (Talk); in Panama City – WDIZ AM (Sports/Talk), WSHF FM (Adult Contemporary), WPBH FM (Oldies), WFSY FM (Adult Contemporary), WPAP FM (Country); in Pensacola – WYCL FM (1) (Oldies), WTKX FM (Rock); in Tallahassee – WNLS AM (News/Talk), WJZT FM (Jazz), WTNT FM (Country), WSNI FM (Oldies), WXSR FM (Modern Rock); in Tampa/St. Petersburg – WILV FM (Adult Contemporary), WHNZ AM (1)(2) (News), WZTM AM (News), WSJT FM (Jazz), WHPT FM (Classic Rock), WSRR FM (Modern Adult Contemporary), WRBQ AM (Adult) (Urban Contemporary), WRBQ FM (Country); and in West Palm Beach – WBZT AM (News/Talk/Sports), WKGR FM (Classic Rock), WOLL FM (Oldies). The radio networks include Coral Gables – Clear Channel Sports, Gainesville – Clear Channel Sports, and Maitland – Florida Radio Network.

The television stations include two Jacksonville stations – WAWS FOX TV30, and WTEV UPN TV47 (1).

Clear Channel, through its subsidiaries, has billboards in Jacksonville, Ocala/Gainesville, and Orlando, bus shelter advertising in Miami, and both bus shelter advertising and billboards in Tampa.

Clear Channel’s Form 10-Q for the quarter ending March 31, 1998, filed on May 15, 1998 [] states: “On April 1, 1998, the Company closed its merger with Universal Outdoor Holdings, Inc. (“Universal”). Pursuant to the terms of the agreement, each share of Universal common stock was exchanged for .67 shares of the Company’s common stock or approximately 19.3 million shares. Universal’s operations include approximately 34,000 outdoor advertising display faces in 23 major metropolitan markets. In addition, the Company assumed approximately $567 million of Universal’s long-term debt, $242 million of which was refinanced at the closing date using the Company’s credit facility. In May 1998, the Company completed a public tender offer for the 9.75% debentures, which made up the remaining $325 million. This acquisition is being accounted for as a purchase with resulting goodwill of approximately $1,163 million being amortized over 25 years on a straight-line basis. This purchase price allocation is preliminary and the results of operations of Universal will be included in the Company’s financial statements beginning April 1, 1998.”

In Universal Outdoor Holdings, Inc.’s Form 10-K for the year ending December 31, 1996 [], Universal discussed its inventory as follows:


The Company operates three standard types of outdoor advertising display faces and also has transit and mall advertising as follows:

– BULLETINS generally are 14 feet high and 48 feet wide (672 square feet) and consist of panels on which advertising copy is displayed. The advertising copy is either hand painted onto the panels at the facilities of the outdoor advertising company in accordance with design specifications supplied by the advertiser and attached to the outdoor advertising structure, or is printed with the computer-generated graphics on a single sheet of vinyl that is wrapped around the structure. On occasion, to attract more attention, some of the panels may extend beyond the linear edges of the display face and may include three-dimensional embellishments. Because of their greater impact and higher cost, bulletins are usually located on major highways.

– 30-SHEET POSTERS generally are 12 feet high by 25 feet wide (300 square feet) and are the most common type of billboard. Advertising copy for 30-sheet posters consists of lithographed or silk-screened paper sheets supplied by the advertiser that are pasted and applied like wallpaper to the face of the display, or single sheets of vinyl with computer-generated advertising copy that are wrapped around the structure. Thirty-sheet posters are concentrated on major traffic arteries.

– JUNIOR (8-SHEET) POSTERS usually are 6 feet high by 12 feet wide (72 square feet). Displays are prepared and mounted in the same manner as 30-sheet posters, except that vinyl sheets are not typically used on junior posters. Most junior posters, because of their smaller size, are concentrated on city streets and target pedestrian traffic.

– TRANSIT ADVERTISING generally consists of posters and frames displayed on the sides of public buses operating on city streets.

– MALL ADVERTISING generally consists of kiosks located in shopping malls.

Billboards generally are mounted on structures owned by the outdoor advertising company and located on sites that are either owned or leased by it or on which it has acquired a permanent easement. Billboard structures are durable, have long useful lives and do not require substantial maintenance. When disassembled, they typically can be moved and relocated at new sites. The Company’s outdoor advertising structures are made of steel and other durable materials built to withstand variable climates, including the rigors of the midwestern climate. The Company expects its structures to last 15 years or more without significant refurbishment.”

Outdoor Systems, Inc.’s Form 10-K405 filed on March 19, 1998
[] states: “Outdoor Systems states: “Billboards generally are mounted on structures owned by the outdoor advertising company and located on sites that are either owned or leased by it or on which it has acquired a permanent easement. Billboard structures, bus shelters and benches are durable, have long useful lives and do not require substantial maintenance. When disassembled, they typically can be moved and relocated at new sites.”

Outdoor Systems, Inc. lists its outdoor advertising faces in major markets around Florida and its total in the United States as follows:

Market 30-Sheet 8-Sheet
Rank Bulletin Poster Poster Mall Airport Total
Miami-Ft. Lauderdale 15 404 — — 168 — 572
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Sarasota 16 881 — — 116 — 997
Orlando 24 466 — — 93 — 559
West Palm Beach 52 219 — — 54 — 273
Jacksonville 55 178 — — 20 — 198
Ft. Myers 96 108 — — 39 — 147

UNITED STATES TOTAL 28,750 21,534 3,357 6,700 21,077 81,418
According to its March 19, 1998 filing, “Outdoor Systems, Inc. (the “Company”) is the largest out-of-home media company in North America, operating, as of December 31, 1997, approximately 98,300 bulletin, poster, mall and transit advertising display faces in 90 metropolitan markets in the United States and 13 metropolitan markets in Canada and approximately 125,000 subway advertising display faces in New York City. The Company has operations in 50 of the 50 largest United States markets and 13 of the 15 largest Canadian markets.”

Lamar Advertising Company’s Form 10-K for the year ending December 31, 1997 [] states: “Lamar is one of the largest and most experienced owners and operators of outdoor advertising structures in the United States. It conducts a business that has operated under the Lamar name since 1902. As of December 31, 1997, the Company operated approximately 43,000 outdoor advertising displays in 24 states and, after giving effect to the Company’s acquisitions of Ragan Outdoor and Derby Outdoor in January 1998 and Pioneer Outdoor in February 1998, the Company operated approximately 47,000 outdoor advertising displays in 26 states. The Company provides a full array of poster and bulletin displays in 59 of the markets in which it currently operates. In its remaining markets, the Company operates high-profile bulletin displays along interstate and other major highways. The Company also operates the largest logo sign business in the United States. Logo signs are erected pursuant to state-awarded franchises on public rights-of-way near highway exits and deliver brand name information on available gas, food, lodging and camping services. The Company currently operates logo sign franchises in 18 of the 22 states that have a privatized logo sign program. As of December 31, 1997, the Company maintained over 22,300 logo sign structures containing over 68,600 logo advertising displays. In addition, the Company operates the tourism signage franchises in four states and the province of Ontario, Canada. The Company has also expanded into the transit advertising business through the operation of displays on bus shelters, bus benches and buses in 13 of its primary markets, three markets in the state of South Carolina, one market in Utah, and one market in the state of Georgia.”

Adams Outdoor Advertising Limited Partnership’s Form 10-K for the year ending December 31, 1998 [] states: “Adams Outdoor Advertising Limited Partnership (the “Company”) is the sixth largest owner and operator of outdoor advertising structures in the United States. Adams Outdoor Advertising, Inc. is the managing general partner of the Company. The Company provides outdoor advertising services to fourteen markets and surrounding areas in the Midwest, southeast and mid-Atlantic states: Charlotte, NC; Charleston, SC; Orangeburg, SC; Florence, SC; Laurens, SC; Kalamazoo, MI; Lansing, MI; Jackson, MI; Lehigh Valley, PA; Northeast PA; Madison, WI; Minneapolis, MN; Norfolk, VA; and Peoria, IL. As of December 31, 1997, the Company operated, in the aggregate, 9,754 advertising displays, including 2,719 painted bulletins, 6,372 30-sheet posters, 240 junior (8-sheet) posters and 423 transit displays.”

This is just a sample of the type of information that is available via the public records filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.