A Fayetteville, NC regulatory board voted 7/24 to deny ABC O&O WTVD-TV News’ request to erect a digital sign along Hay Street. The station wants to put up a 48-foot electronic message board to display news, weather and community events. They said the sign would not display commercials.
Ed O’Connor, business manager for the Durham, NC-based station, told The Fayetteville Observer the company is planning to move a news studio inside a first-floor suite of the Robert C. Williams Business Center, which formerly housed the Public Works Commission in that city.
He said the ABC affiliate wants to put up on the Hay Street building an older electronic sign previously used outside its Raleigh newsroom on Fayetteville Street.
Fayetteville’s Historic Resources Commission voted 5-1 to deny the request. The decision may be appealed to the city’s Board of Adjustment.
WTVD’s proposed flashing sign would have been a first for downtown Fayetteville, and several commission members said they worried about setting an unwanted precedent.
“My concern is it is a sign, and unfortunately, it doesn’t fit in the historic district,” said Christopher Frank, a commission member.
Bruce Daws, the city’s historic properties manager, told the paper the city of Raleigh doesn’t allow flashing signs but made an exception for the 48-foot sign for the WTVD newsroom.
O’Connor declined to comment about the case or say whether the station will appeal.