<< Return to List
Karl Eller Receives Lifetime Achievement Award from OAAA
Outdoor Advertising Industry Recognizes 50 Years of Dedication
Los Angeles, CA (October 29, 2001) ~
Phoenix businessman Karl Eller received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Outdoor Advertising Association of America, Inc. (OAAA) this evening for his remarkable contributions to the outdoor industry.
The award was presented to Mr. Eller, retiring Chairman and CEO of Clear Channel Outdoor, at a party in his honor, held at the Los Angeles Clear Channel facility. The LA plant--six acres of prime real estate that was originally the site of a silent movie studio in the early 20th century--will be closed and relocated in 2003, allowing room for a new high school to be built on the West Washington Blvd. property.
The presentation of the award, a Steuben crystal eagle, was made by former OAAA Chairman, Kevin Reilly, Jr., of Lamar Advertising Corporation. Also on hand to help celebrate were leaders from the outdoor advertising industry, members of the agency and advertising communities, colleagues, family and friends spanning Mr. Eller's 50-year career. A video retrospective was shown, and a congratulatory letter from President George W. Bush was read aloud.
The Lifetime Achievement Award is an uncommon award for an uncommon individual, and has been presented only twice before. Mr. Eller joins a very short list: R.O. Naegele (1982) and media pioneer John Kluge (1993) were numbers one and two, respectively.
Mr. Eller likes to say that he lives and breathes the outdoor business, and his dossier attests to that fact. A lifelong Arizonan, he started his career in outdoor as a "leaseman" for Foster & Kleiser in 1952, shortly after graduating from college. By 1962, he had opened up shop as Eller Outdoor, and since then has built and rebuilt media empires, based on the once-novel idea of combining radio, tv, newspaper and billboards. In 1997, Mr. Eller sold Eller Media to Clear Channel Communications for $1.2 billion, but stayed on as chairman and CEO.
Mr. Eller will, no doubt, have a busy retirement. Recently named to the board of the NCAA, he also sits on numerous other boards, including the El Dorado Investment Co., the Phoenix Suns, SunVen Entertainment Group, Inc. and National Empowerment Television. In 1983, Mr. Eller established and funded the Karl Eller Center for the Study of the Free Enterprise Economy at the University of Arizona. And in mid-1987, the University of Arizona named its business school for Mr. Eller. Most recently, the University further honored him by renaming its business college the Karl Eller College of Business and Public Administration.
<< Return to List