Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc.
Company typePublic
Russell 2000 Component
IndustryOut-of-home advertising
  • Foster & Kleiser
  • Patrick Media Outdoor
  • Eller Media Company
Founded1901; 123 years ago (1901) (as Foster & Kleiser)
Key people
Scott Wells (CEO, Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc. & Clear Channel Outdoor Americas)
William Eccleshare (Executive Vice Chairman, CCOH Board of Directors)
RevenueUS$ 2.68 billion (2019)[2]
US$ 253 million (2019)[2]
US$ −363 million (2019)[2]
Total assetsUS$ 6.39 billion (2019)[2]
Total equityUS$ −2.05 billion (2019)[2]
Number of employees
5,900 (2019)[2]
Clear Channel offices in Golden Square, London.

Clear Channel Outdoor Americas, Inc. (CCOA) is an out-of-home (OOH) advertising company based in San Antonio, Texas[3] with operations throughout the U.S.[4] and the Caribbean.[5] CCOA is one of two separate business units operating as part of Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc. (CCOH).[4] The other business unit, Clear Channel International (CCI), includes Europe, Singapore and Latin America.[4] Globally, both CCOA and CCI employ 5,800 people.[2]

Following a separation from its former parent company, iHeartMedia, Inc., in May 2019, CCOH, Inc. has operated as an independent, publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: CCO).[6][7]

In the U.S., Clear Channel Outdoor Americas offers outdoor advertising in 43 of the top 50 markets and maintains an office and operations presence employing over 1,500 people.[2] Across its roadside and street level market footprint, CCOA offers tens of thousands of printed billboards in a variety of formats.[4]


Founding and predecessor companies

Clear Channel Outdoor Americas (CCOA) was one of the first outdoor advertising companies in the United States and is one of the largest.[8] It has origins in three major predecessor companies: Foster & Kleiser (F&K) (1901–1986), Patrick Media Outdoor (1986–1995), and Eller Media Company (1995–2001). F&K changed its name to Patrick Media Group after Metromedia sold the company to Scranton, PA-based Patrick Media Group and a major investor group led by General Electric, and it was acquired in turn by Karl Eller in 1995.

Alongside this outdoor advertising consolidation, the Mays family in San Antonio, Texas, founded a broadcasting company in 1972, which would become known as Clear Channel Communications.[9] By the mid-1990s, Clear Channel Communications owned 43 radio and 16 television stations.[10] By 2004, Clear Channel owned more than 1,200 radio stations and 36 television stations in the United States and 770,000 billboards globally.[11]

Along the way, CCO further consolidated operations by acquiring Universal Outdoor (Naegele, Derse, POA, Revere), Donrey, Paxton Outdoor, Ackerley Media, Badger Outdoor, ABC Outdoor, and Hansen Outdoor, to name a few of the larger transactions.

Expansion and iHeartMedia

In November 2005, Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:CCO) and its parent company, Clear Channel Communications, Inc. (NYSE:CCU) announced the initial public offering of 35,000,000 shares of Class A common stock of Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings at a price of $18.00 per share, for a total offering of $630,000,000.[7]

In 2006, CCOH acquired Interspace Airport Advertising and began operating as Clear Channel Interspace Airports. In 2009, the airports media sales business began operating as Clear Channel Airports.[12] Today, Clear Channel Airports manages advertising and marketing contracts in more than 260 airports across the world.[13]

In 2007, Clear Channel Outdoor began its partnership with the FBI to display fugitives and missing persons on billboards across the United States.[14]

In 2008, Clear Channel was taken private by firms Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital LLC, and the Mays family divested their interests in the company.[15]

In September 2014, CCO's then-parent parent company changed its name from Clear Channel Communications, Inc. to iHeartMedia. The outdoor advertising entity retained the Clear Channel name to protect that trademark.[16]

In 2015, Scott Wells became CEO of Clear Channel Outdoor Americas.[17] He is responsible for all CCOA’s business in the U.S., and its Caribbean-based airport media sales operations.[5]

In 2016, CCOA proved the effectiveness of the Out-of-Home (OOH) medium and announced the industry’s first measurable outdoor advertising solution known as CCO RADAR. CCO executed this using aggregated and anonymized mobile location data from privacy compliant data providers.[18][19]

On January 7, 2016, Lamar Advertising Company purchased Clear Channel Outdoor's assets in 5 major U.S. city markets for $458.5 million.[20]

In 2016, CCOA introduced the automated ability (programmatic) for advertisers to buy ads on its various digital outdoor formats using computer programs.[21]

Spin-off out of iHeartMedia

On December 21, 2018, iHeartMedia announced its intent to spin out its majority stake in Clear Channel Outdoor, as part of a proposed reorganization plan to reduce debt and exit its Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The reorganization plan was approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas in January 2019, and was completed in May 2019.[22][23][6] This made Clear Channel an independent company, and Clear Channel International (CCI) CEO William Eccleshare became the new worldwide CEO. He remains in London in addition to his responsibilities as the worldwide CEO, he continues to lead CCI.[24][25]

Under the Clear Channel umbrella, Clear Channel Outdoor was built from the acquisition of Eller Media, Universal Outdoor, and More Group Plc, giving iHeartMedia outdoor advertising space in 25 countries, while CCO also has a stake in Jolly Pubblicita S.p.A. of Italy. Other units of CCO include:

In the United States, CCO operates over 1,100 digital billboards in 27 markets.[26] Taxi Tops was sold to Verifone in January 2010.

See also


  1. ^ Clear Channel Outdoor Corporate Address on the Investor Relations FAQ page (Retrieved 28 July 2023)
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc. 2019 Form 10-K" (PDF). SEC. Retrieved 2020-04-30.
  3. ^ Clear Channel Outdoor Corporate Address on the Investor Relations FAQ page (Retrieved 28 July 2023)
  4. ^ a b c d "CCO - Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings Inc". Reuters.
  5. ^ a b "Clear Channel International Announces Changes to Operating Structure – Including Creation of European Region". Digital Signage Connection. 2019-05-08. Retrieved 2020-08-11.
  6. ^ a b "iHeartMedia Emerges From Chapter 11". Radio World. 2019-05-06. Retrieved 2020-01-21.
  7. ^ a b "Clear Channel Outdoor Prices Initial Public Offering" (Press release). Retrieved 2015-06-12.
  8. ^ "San Antonio's Clear Channel taps credit line in midst of coronavirus". 2020-03-25. Retrieved 2020-06-15.
  9. ^ "A Look at Lowry Mays: Risk-Taker, Broadcaster, Billionaire, Philanthropist". Rivard Report. 2018-02-05. Retrieved 2020-06-15.
  10. ^ "Media Monopoly Revisited". FAIR. 2011-10-01. Retrieved 2020-06-15.
  11. ^ "Gee, Thanks Dad". Forbes. Retrieved 2020-08-14.
  12. ^ "Spanning the globe with airport ads Lehigh County firm dominates niche industry". LVB. 2014-07-21. Retrieved 2020-07-21.
  13. ^ "Clear Channel Airports Wins a New Seven Year Contract with Philadelphia International Airport to Provide State of the Art Advertising Network". AviationPros. 2019-04-16. Retrieved 2020-07-30.
  14. ^ "The FBI on Digital Billboards". FBI. Retrieved 2020-09-25.
  15. ^ Davies, Megan (2006-11-16). "Clear Channel agrees to be sold for $18.7 bln". Reuters. Retrieved 2020-09-30.
  16. ^ "About iHeartBillboards". Archived from the original on April 5, 2016. Retrieved April 21, 2016.
  17. ^ "Clear Channel names Scott Wells new Americas CEO". Campaign. 2015-03-02.
  18. ^ "Clear Channel on how location data helps brands with OOH". The Drum. Retrieved 2020-06-29.
  19. ^ "How A Smart Billboard Is Changing How Consumers Interact With Products". 2016-12-23. Retrieved 2020-06-29.
  20. ^ "Lamar Acquires 5,500+ Clear Channel Outdoor Signs". Retrieved 2020-06-23.
  21. ^ "Clear Channel to Sell Digital Billboard Ads 'Programatically'". Wall Street Journal. 2016-12-14.
  22. ^ "IHeartMedia wins court approval for a plan to exit bankruptcy". 2019-01-22. Retrieved 2020-01-21.
  23. ^ "iHeartMedia Sets Plan for Spin-Off of Outdoor Advertising Business". Billboard. Retrieved 2020-01-21.
  24. ^ "Clear Channel Outdoor to emerge as standalone company after iHeartMedia restructuring". The Drum. Retrieved 2020-01-22.
  25. ^ "iHeartMedia Agrees to Split from Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings". Digital Music News. 2018-12-24. Retrieved 2020-01-22.
  26. ^ "Investor Relations for Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings (CCOH)". Archived from the original on January 5, 2018. Retrieved January 15, 2018.