May 08, 2004

Fox News suing over billboard at CNN Center

Fox News Channel has had an ad on a billboard facing CNN Center & Centennial Park in downtown Atlanta for more than five years now (I remember it from when I worked at CNN). The billboard, at the corner of Marietta St. and Centennial Olympic Park Dr., has continuously had messages mocking CNN and encouraging CNN employees, and Atlanta locals alike to watch Fox News.

Most recently, the billboard has said "Come Home Connie. CNN Needs You." -- a reference to Connie Chung, whom CNN fired abruptly in March 2003, after her show, Connie Chung Tonight simply tanked. Even Ted Turner called her "awful."

FNC wants to put a new billboard in place of the current one: "Now That CNN's Ratings are Gone With the Wind, Our Work on This Board Is Done. We Love You Atlanta. Brought to you by your friends at FOX News Channel."

By itself, that doesn't sound any worse than any of the other billboards out there -- certainly not one to really get anyone's goat.

But the zinger comes below that text: "Sign Up with America's Newsroom! Forward resumes to resumes(at)"

Current notion is that CNN doesn't like that. Fox has accused CNN of putting pressure on the billboard company to prevent the new sign from going up.

In a letter obtained Thursday by The Associated Press, Fox lawyer Dianne Brandi suggests Atlanta company Camfaux LLC may have buckled to pressure from CNN not to put up the message.

"Should you choose not to put up the billboard immediately, we will consider all options available to us, including, of course, legal options," Brandi wrote.

Camfaux says that, yes, they owned the billboard in '99 when the Fox News Channel messages began going up, but that they've since sold the sign to Atlanta-based Boardworks Outdoor Advertising.

Boardworks is silent on the matter -- at least to the press.

Stay tuned -- the billboard is around the corner from my new client's office, as well as from my wife's office in downtown Atlanta. I'll see the message if and when it goes up.

Posted by mhking at May 8, 2004 08:26 AM

It's hard to believe that people still bother with CNN after they confessed to pretty much letting Saddam run their Baghdad bureau for years.

Posted by: Watcher at May 8, 2004 11:40 AM

Wasn't Ted Turner's first business billboards or something relating to them? I could be totally misremembering, but that'd be ironic.

[Pauses to whip out Google rather than look foolish...]

Why yes, I have a good frickin memory:

Posted by: Jay Solo at May 8, 2004 03:40 PM

Hah!, I love this.

At first glance I thought the sign said.

Come Home COMMIE.
CNN Needs you.
FNC Probably felt enough people would see the similarity to forgo that one.

Posted by: SpaceMonkey at May 8, 2004 07:23 PM

I am amused.

Posted by: Aaron's Rantblog at May 12, 2004 12:13 AM

I'm visiting because we're both in the Watcher's competition.

It's a pity that journalists want to change the world. Just being an relatively honest broker is a tremendous achievement.

I'm really just an accidentally political blogger, but I have a post on billboards you might find interesting at

Posted by: Douglas at May 12, 2004 01:43 AM
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