NEW YORK — iHeartMedia staked its claim to the New York skyline with its new presence on one of the city’s most iconic billboards, high atop the old Ruppert Ice House, overlooking the Triboro/RFK Bridge leading into Manhattan and out of The Bronx. The billboard displays the company’s nationally-recognized iHeartRadio logo and is one of only eight brands to grace this historic billboard over the last 80 years. iHeartMedia joins Pepsi and Domino Sugar as one of only three historic billboards along the East River.
The new iHeartMedia billboard is over 8,000 square feet (the size of 12 traditional roadside billboards) and is visible for miles from various vantage points around the city. In addition to the iHeartRadio logo, the billboard will display a digital LED screen that promotes iHeartMedia’s New York City-based station brands — Z100, Power 105, KTU, Lite FM, Q104.3 and WOR — and upcoming events such as the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour and the iHeartRadio Music Awards, among other nationally-recognized iHeartMedia brands and events. The billboard will reach millions of people weekly and is scheduled for completion in the coming days.
“Given iHeartMedia’s huge audience, unparalleled national and local reach and profile, it’s only fitting that the company would have the most historic and viewed sign in New York City,” said Scott Wells, Chief Executive Officer of Clear Channel Outdoor Americas.
“In just five years the iHeartRadio national brand has grown into one of the most-recognized consumer media and entertainment brands in America, and our iconic New York radio stations, including Z100, Power 105, KTU, Lite FM, Q104.3 and WOR, continue to be a huge part of the fabric of the city. We couldn’t be more excited to now become part of New York City’s physical skyline,” said Bob Pittman, Chairman and CEO of iHeartMedia, Inc. “We are proud of iHeartRadio’s strong presence in New York City, and this incredible billboard, which reaches millions of people every month with the power of this display, embodies our presence here and our commitment to our listeners.”
“Having Clear Channel Outdoor Americas reinvest in this iconic sign, which serves as a beacon to all Bronx residents and a landmark throughout the region, while also having a leading national media company move into our neighborhood via this historic billboard is emblematic of the continued revitalization of The Bronx,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz. “On behalf of the millions who travel this route every week, and the more than 1.4 million people who live here, I am thrilled to welcome iHeartMedia to our borough’s waterfront.”
Clear Channel Outdoor Americas has invested $2 million in the billboard’s renovation over the last year and worked with officials to secure its grandfathered status in 2015. This billboard, and the building it stands proudly atop, carries with it a rich history dating back to the 1920s.
The building was constructed for Jacob Ruppert, who owned the Yankees, built Yankee Stadium and brought Babe Ruth to the team. The Ruppert family owned and operated Rupert Beer and Knickerbocker Beer and originally used the building to store ice and keep beer cold prior to the refrigeration era. Ruppert Beer was the first brand to adorn this now iconic sign, maintaining its presence there from 1936 to 1952.
Each brand that followed in Ruppert’s footprint for the next 80 years held claim to the billboard for nearly a decade or more. These include: Knickerbocker Beer (1952-1962), City Services Gasoline (aka Citgo, 1962- early 70s), Kent Cigarettes (early 70s – late 70s), Golden Lights Cigarettes (early 80s – late 80s), Newport Cigarettes (early 90s – 1999), HISTORY Channel (2000-2015) and now iHeartMedia (2016 – ).