Roots for Choice Media can be traced to The Canyon News, where CEO Brad Tooley, was publisher for 22 years. It’s a been a successful journey that has included a bump in the road here and there, but always the providential hand of God on the steering wheel.
Tooley purchased The Canyon News in 1984 and in the early 1990s began exploring synergies that would enhance revenues for his twice-weekly newspaper. West Texas A&M University needed a student phone directory, the impetus for starting Randall County Directories through the newspaper in 1991. The following year Canyon Outdoor Advertising was incorporated and was issued a Texas Department of Transportation license for Outdoor Advertising.
Brad and Kristie Tooley sold a small rent house they owned and brokered the proceeds into purchasing a half dozen empty billboard faces from another billboard operator. Tooley was blessed to quickly lease those faces, and soon began building a handful of “woodies”, industry term for billboards constructed out of telephone poles and wood.
Meanwhile, the WTAMU telephone directory was a hit and Randall Directories acquired the Canyon Telephone Directory in 1995. Kristie retired from her position as an elementary school teacher to head` up directory sales and be at home more with children Kristopher and Shanna. Diane Goddard joined the Directories during that period and continues to lead this company today at its Sales Manager. Randall County Directories expanded in 1998 to publish a directory for Hereford, Dimmitt and Friona. In the past few years, the directories company merged the telephone directory published by West Texas Rural, into its Hereford book, and also earned publishing privileges for Mid-Plains Directory.
In the late 90s, the decision was made to rebrand the company so that it reflected a name that would encompass expanding markets, thus was born Choice Directories, Choice Outdoor and the general name “Choice Media.”
Doug Cowan, head football coach for Canyon High School, joined Tooley in the billboard business in 1996. He was later named General Manager and has helped build the business to its current viability. Today Choice Media is one of the largest independent, family operated billboard companies in Texas. Choice operates more than 600 billboard faces in a region that runs from Amarillo to Wichita Falls, to Abilene and San Angelo, west to Midland-Odessa and Clovis, N.M. Choice Also has a strong presence in most of these communities, including the “center” of the territory in Lubbock. A growing sector of the Choice business is in digital (electronic) billboard advertising in Amarillo, Lubbock, Odessa, San Angelo, Abilene, Wichita Falls and Waco. Sylvia Holcomb manages the Choice Media Abilene market.
The Choice billboard network extends to Waco, where sister company Swift Outdoor operates under the leadership of Kris Tooley. Swift has three digital billboards in Waco and operates a network of large and junior billboards in Central Texas, in partnership with Glenn Brower who joined Swift in 2006. Shanna Tooley Jones joined Choice Media as a sales executive in 2011. Shanna now operates the Choice Media Lubbock office that was opened in 2014. It is located on the ground floor of the Tuscan Towers, 4630 50th St.
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