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California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger says a controversial billboard promoting a Spanish-language television station in L.A. that places the city of angels in Mexico should come down.


Photo of billboard in L.A. area.

He told KFI radio-talk team John & Ken show in Los Angeles today that KRCA-TV should remove the billboard that portrays Los Angeles as located in Mexico.

“I think they should take it down immediately,” Schwarzenegger said.

He called it “divisive” and “unnecessary” and said it promoted illegal immigration.

Schwarzenegger, who last week urged President Bush to secure the border with Mexico to stem the tide of illegal immigration, said he thinks the Minuteman Project has done a terrific job.

“It’s a shame the private citizen has to go in there and secure our borders,” he said.

On the controversial billboard, the “CA” state abbreviation after “Los Angeles” is crossed out and the word “Mexico” added in its place.

In the center of the billboard, placed within the L.A. skyline, is an image of the Angel of Independence, a well-known monument in Mexico City, further suggesting the merging of Los Angeles and Mexico.

It also says, “Tu Ciudad. Tu Equipo,” or “Your City. Your Team.”

“I understand, from a marketing point of view, to get the attention and do something radical and all that stuff, but I think it is going to backfire on them big time,” Schwarzenegger said.

“If they want to be responsible, they will take it down,” the governor added. “Those mistakes are made. Maybe some marketing person said, ‘Do that and it will create a lot of media attention and we’ll get great free publicity.’ And maybe they didn’t think it all the way through. I think it is time to take it down now and say it’s a mistake and move on.”

“No one is promoting illegal immigration. Everyone has to obey the laws,” Leonard Liberman, executive vice president of Burbank-based Liberman Broadcasting, which owns KRCA, told the Whittier Daily News.

Liberman told the paper his 16 Spanish-language radio stations and four television stations want audience members to feel at ease at home.

“Our newscasters cater to them. We try to make them comfortable,” he said.

Last month, ClearChannel, the owner of the billboard, announced a “Multicultural Sales and Marketing Initiative” to expand its focus on “serving the fast-growing U.S. Hispanic and African American population.”

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