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With his client-side background, Matthew Dearden was a surprising choice to take over Clear Channel.
The announcement of Matthew Dearden as the chief executive of Clear Channel's UK business took some in the outdoor community by surprise. After all, many had formed the opinion that the managing director, Rob Atkinson, had been doing a solid caretaking job for the previous nine months and deserved a shot at the role himself.
Dearden comes from a different background to Atkinson and the sales director Steve Atkinson (no relation), who both have long careers in media sales. Clear Channel's chief executive in Europe, William Eccleshare, was clear that the new chief executive would be required to provide strong strategic direction and Dearden's six years at BT offer the hope that he can provide a fresh set of eyes in taking Clear Channel forward.
The job won't be easy. In 2009, Clear Channel Outdoor's international …