Outfront Media, Inc. (formerly CBS Outdoor, Viacom Outdoor, Infinity Outdoor, Outdoor Systems, Gannett Outdoor, 3M National, and Transportation Displays Incorporated (TDI), among others) is the third largest outdoor media owner in revenue terms. It operates in markets including the United States, and Canada. The Americas division is led by CEO Jeremy Male.
Outfront Media operates both billboards and transit displays.
TDI (Transportation Displays Incorporated) was the first predecessor company for transit advertising, publishing advertising for passenger railroad timetables and displays in railroad terminals. TDI was first incorporated in 1938. TDI was sold to IT&T in the early 1970s and then to the Winston Network in the early 1980s, it was later renamed TDI in 1989 led by Bill Apfelbaum. In 1996 the company was sold to Infinity Broadcasting. The transit business and the billboard business merged in 2001 under the name Viacom Outdoor.
The billboard division was originally two separate companies: 3M National, the outdoor advertising subsidiary of 3M; and Gannett Outdoor, owned by the Gannett Company. In August 1996, Gannett exited the billboard business by spinning off Gannett Outdoor into a new company, Outdoor Systems. This new company would later acquire 3M National in May 1997, but before that sale was finalized, the United States Justice Department ruled that Outdoor Systems had to sell nearly all of its 3M billboards in ten U.S. cities (all 3M billboards in Phoenix, Arizona; Sacramento, California; New Orleans; Louisville, Kentucky; Denver; Detroit; Kansas City, Missouri and Grand Rapids, Michigan; plus almost all 3M billboards in Atlanta and half of 3M's billboards in Houston) where both Outdoor Systems and 3M National already had billboards to Lamar Advertising to avoid a monopoly in these cities.
On December 7, 1999 Outdoor Systems (OSI) was bought by Infinity and became Infinity Outdoor. Infinity was absorbed into Viacom in 2001, and became Viacom Outdoor. When Viacom split from CBS Corporation in December 2005, it became CBS Outdoor. CBS owned CBS Outdoor as a division of CBS until March 2014, at which point it was spun off into an independent company. CBS Corporation continued to own 83% of Outfront Media, although this number is expected to decline over time as Outfront Media converts into a real estate investment trust and CBS Corporation divests itself of the outdoor unit. CBS Outdoor shares began trading on the New York Stock Exchange on March 28, 2014.
In July 2014, it was announced that CBS Outdoor would acquire the billboard business of Van Wagner Communications for $690 million.
As of July 17, 2014 CBS Outdoor became a fully independent corporation, operating as a real estate investment trust. The company announced it would rename itself as to Outfront Media, Inc., effective November 20, 2014. The company's ticker symbol on the NYSE changed from CBSO to OUT. A rebranding program converted billboards, signage and displays from CBS Outdoor to Outfront logos.
In October 2015, Outfront Media refused to post New York City Subway ads involving Thinx underwear for women, on the basis that the word period was used in the advertisement copy and was accompanied by images of grapefruits.
Outfront Media holds advertising contracts including:
Outfront Media Canada (Outfront Média in Quebec) is a leading Outdoor Representative in Canada. Major products/contracts include:
Outfront Media products are audited and measured by COMB (the Canadian Out-of-Home Measurement Bureau).
Rival outdoor advertisers include: