The Elon Board of Aldermen will hold a public hearing Tuesday, Jan. 16, regarding an attention-getting news ticker at Elon University

The electronic sign is located at Elon University’s School For Communications at Williamson and Lebanon avenues, one of the town’s busiest intersections. It scrolls news headlines on a continuous loop.

“The university sought to offer a unique asset to pedestrians on the streetscape and demonstrate the vibrant programs of the nationally recognized School of Communications,” said Owen Covington, a university spokesman.

The town’s existing ordinance allows the sign but with two-second breaks between headlines. Town Manager Richard White said that his understanding is that most jurisdictions require a two-second delay because of safety reasons, as it is thought that a continuous loop is more distracting.

However, the university is asking that the ordinance be revised to allow a continuous message loop because the ticker’s hardware and software configuration do not allow for such a delay, Covington said.

“The university has requested an amendment to the ordinance to allow for use of the news ticker as originally proposed,” he said.


Reporter Bill Cresenzo can be reached at or 336-506-3041. Follow him on Twitter at @BillCresenzoTN.