My Media Week: Chris Pelekanou

It's a varied week for Chris Pelekanou, commercial director, Clear Channel UK, as he talks digitisation of out of home, lunches at Roku, and dons a questionable amount of Lycra.

Chris Pelekanou: commercial director, Clear Channel UK
Chris Pelekanou: commercial director, Clear Channel UK


Monday is always an early start. I set out around 4.30am for the drive into London. Media options are limited in rural Suffolk – I tune into Radio 4 for world and political news. At about 5.20 the Shipping Forecast starts which is my cue to turn over.

In the office I catch up on emails, media news and social media. My first meeting of the day is with my PA Aimee to look at the week ahead. At 9.00 I join the national sales meeting. We’ve had a good quarter and the mood is buoyant. We get an update from our in-house creative solutions team, Create, and go through the numbers for the week. Next, I catch up with Smooth Radio to talk about how we can support some local initiatives.

The rest of the day is spent working on Project X. Project X is our new super-premium large format digital offering. We’re launching in early October and we’re busy building the team, putting the finishing touches to the website and marketing materials and, of course, planning the launch party.

I then try (but fail) to make it to the gym. I live in east London during the week so my commute is a brisk cycle ride which gives me a great opportunity to see plenty of fantastic out of home creative.


I’m woken by Heart on the radio – my kids must have changed the station (honest). I cycle in and start the day with a breakfast meeting with my team. We review the kick-off of our Think Big, Think Adshel campaign which started this week and will run for the rest of the year. Adshel is 25 years young as a national 6-sheet product and it’s a great time to celebrate the core benefits of the format. Then it's on to a trading meeting.

I have an enjoyable lunch with MEC’s Jason Dormieux. The future of out of home is the main topic of conversation and we talk innovation and programmatic trading over some fantastic Italian food.

I rush back to the office and spend the afternoon in meetings preparing for the launch of Project X. Tonight I succeed in making it to the gym, so feel justified in finishing the day with a glass of wine in front of Newsnight.


I start the day with an early morning spin class - apologies to anyone who spotted me in my Lycra!  Breakfast is with developers looking at some innovative digital projects that we have in the pipeline. I then head over to Rapport to discuss some exciting new initiatives, the digitisation of out of home, and take a look ahead as we plan for 2014.

The early afternoon is spent on a site tour with Chanel before heading back for more meetings with developers to pick up on some discussions on our plans for the future.

I round off the day by catching up with media news and going through my emails. On my cycle home I spot some lovely Art Everywhere posters on our Adshel sites in east London. Art Everywhere has been bringing British art to out of home sites for the past two weeks. It’s a great showcase for the power of out of home and it’s fantastic that Clear Channel has played such a key role.


It’s another early start and I catch up with social media and Campaign – the analysis of the Publicis/Omnicom merger is spot on. I catch up with the team over breakfast before the weekly finance meeting.  

Lunch is at Roku with Duff Borer from Starcom MediaVest Group. It’s a bit of a media frenzy in there – times certainly don’t feel quite as tough as they did a couple of years ago. I bump into Paul Frampton, Marc Mendoza and John Lewis among others.

I meet up with various teams during the afternoon. With the national sales team enjoying a strong week, we give the team the chance to choose a treat as a thank you for all their hard work. I expected them to head to the pub but, for reasons I’m not 100% clear on, they choose to get in a tarot reader. She spends the afternoon predicting the future for various members of the team. For the record, that’s not how we do our forecasting.

The future is on the agenda again that evening as I enjoy dinner with some industry friends with the conversation again focussed on innovation in out of home. Again there’s a feeling the sector is in great shape and there’s a lot of enthusiasm for the next twelve months.


It’s a half day today so there’s a lot to cram in. I make some time before breakfast to read through the FT and The Guardian – I don’t always get the time to read newspapers these days.

After various meetings I don my Lycra once again. In a moment of madness I’ve agreed to cycle down to Brighton with my old mate Duncan Grant. Hopefully all the pain will be worth it. At the end of September I, our sales director Richard Bon and Nicola Williams our head of trading will be cycling the best part of 250 kilometres from Nice to Marseille alongside some of our friends from Kinetic as part of a charity fundraiser. Wish me luck. 

Age: 49
Favourite media: Anything out of home
My biggest inspiration: Carolyn McCall - for employing me and keeping me on the straight and narrow for so many years
Dream job: Professional cyclist
Not a lot of people know this: I swam the English Channel (And I haven’t swum since!)

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