Many years ago, I ran a contest inviting sales managers to share their worst hiring nightmare. I had a couple of my own, but it turns out mine weren’t even close to being as bad as some.

Not one entrant, but two, discovered they had hired hookers. Another hired a rep who, as it turned out, didn’t own a car. One manager found out he’d hired a kleptomaniac. In their first week, his new AE was at a regional corporate training session and two other AE’s had wallets taken from their purses. She was caught when the business manager drove by her apartment and saw a big plant on her balcony that had previously been in the station’s lobby. (If you keep reading, at the end you’ll see the winning entry. It still makes me laugh.)

We all make bad hires. If you haven’t, I’m guessing you haven’t hired enough people yet. Reference checks, testing, better interviewing techniques all help, but even the best managers will hire a dud every once in a while.

The real issue isn’t that we make bad hires. It’s what we do about them. Often, we’ll take way too long to admit our mistakes and deal with them. Maybe it’s human nature to give people a second (or fourth) chance. Maybe we keep hoping that the little progress they show will turn into something.

But, here’s the problem. Our business isn’t getting easier, so someone who’s a “C” today becomes a “D” in a year or so if they don’t change. That means that any manager who tolerates an average or below-average performer is setting themselves up for even bigger performance challenges as the business gets harder.

This isn’t just a situation with new hires. Many of us have members of our sales staffs who aren’t ready for our new business and will never be able to change enough to get ready. When you keep them (as so many managers we see are doing), you’re setting yourself up for even bigger problems down the road. And down the road may be a lot faster than you think.

How do you know it’s time to part company with someone? It’s probably best to consult your HR department before you get into trouble listening to my opinion on that. But, I follow two pieces of advice I was given early in my career. First, as mentioned, I’m always really concerned about the people who are just “OK,” because I think the business isn’t getting easier. Second, I always ask the question, “What will we lose if they leave?” If the answer is “not much,” I’d guess you have a problem.

A few weeks ago, I shared my thoughts with you about recruiting. It’s important to have a robust recruiting effort or you’ll delay dealing with your challenges. So that’s a biggie.

But here’s the bottom line. You’ll never be a great leader with an average team. And, you’ll always have an average team as long as you put off dealing with your mistakes. Both the ones you hired 120 days ago and the mistakes that have been with you for years.

And now… the winning entry. This will prove your mistakes haven’t been all that bad.

I work for a TV station. Here’s my story. How about the failing AE who SWORE that she was out making calls when she was really trying to win concert tickets from a radio station… She was actually “live on air” with the radio station during the morning drive to work. During the call she complained about our station, spread rumors that we were shutting down the news department and the station was probably being sold, and that it was a terrible, hateful place to work… The on-air jocks invited her to SKIP our mandatory sales meeting to come into the studio to do a stunt to win the tickets. (Which she did. She told us she had to leave for an important sales call, but we already knew where she was going since we’d heard her on the radio.)

Then she decided it would be a good idea to take a NEW ROOKIE salesperson with her for some company in the car, I guess. She did the stunt… she crawled on her hands and knees blindfolded through a hallway filled with rat and mouse traps while on air… won the pair of concert tickets, and returned to work.

When she got back to the office, we asked how her “great call” went. She could feel we had something on her and started back-peddling. Then I PLAYED AN AIR CHECK FROM THE RADIO STATION MORNING SHOW WITH HER DISTINCT, TWANGY SOUTHERN VOICE ALL OVER IT… about 5 minutes on air, she was very detailed and even complained about her co-workers. She totally denied it was her, even though she said SHE WAS A SALESPERSON AT THE ___ STATION and the jocks talked up what their favorite shows were, and she kept making remarks like, “They’ll lie to you about everything but try to make it a good place to work. I have a mandatory sales meeting and they’d all be upset with me if they knew I went to your station just to win tickets.”

The jocks then said, “BLOW IT OFF, c’mon down here and let’s talk. Don’t you want the tickets?” (It was also a lame third-tier concert that OUR station already had a bunch of free tickets for). What she didn’t know, even though she totally denied the whole event, was that when she was crawling through the hallway, the morning show webcam was capturing the whole thing and it was posted on their site. So, when she dismissed the phone call as not being her voice, we showed her the VIDEO of her and the rookie taking part in the stupid stunt. Even then, she tried for a moment to say it wasn’t her. When this was all going down, she COULD NOT understand why we were firing her.

And yes, she hired a lawyer to sue us. We actually went to court. But when her attorney saw we had tapes and the video of the contest, he gave up on the spot.

Have a GSM or GM meeting in your future? Why not have Jim Doyle or John Hannon speak to your meeting about how to turn your sales staff into a Sales FORCE? We promise powerful, thought-provoking content customized to your company’s needs. Contact Jim Doyle at or call 941-926-SELL.

Ken Marks is a Senior Marketing Consultant for

Ken’s media experience spans 27 years in marketing, sales, and sales management. Working closely with hundreds of small and mid-sized business owners, he’s helped them navigate and leverage the ever-changing media landscape of television, radio, digital and streaming.

Ken started his career in radio advertising in Central Florida. A successful seller and General Sales Manager of several Cox Radio stations, he was recruited across the street by Gross Communications where he eventually became the VP/GM of the company’s radio, print, and digital divisions.

Prior to joining, Ken spent nine years as a marketing consultant with the Hearst Corporation at WESH 2 NBC and Hearst Digital in Central Florida.  While there he earned the company’s prestigious Eagle award three times(!), given to the most valuable marketing consultant in each Hearst market annually.

Marks grew up in St. Louis, Missouri and graduated from Missouri State University.  He played professional racquetball briefly after college, then began his media career.  He and his wife, Jennifer, owned a retail franchise called “Once Upon a Child”, which they sold in 2018.  They also currently own and manage several short and long-term rental properties.

Ken and Jennifer reside in Orlando, Florida and have three children, two boys (a Senior at the US Naval Academy and a Senior at Cornerstone High School), and an amazing eleven-year-old girl in the fifth grade. When not working Ken loves to spend time with his family, boat and fish on Lake Conway, play guitar, piano, and golf.

Brittany Tomjanovich is the Director of Operations at

Brittany has a passion for data and details. That passion, coupled with her healthy respect for broadcast and digital’s powerful marketing platforms, has led to a fun and growing career in media.

In January 2011, Brittany joined Madison’s ABC affiliate, WKOW, as a sales assistant.  Immersing herself quickly into the sales process and organizational flow, she thrived and by the time she moved into a corporate role, she had supported local sales, national sales, and the programming department reporting directly to the station’s General Manager.

As the Broadcast Group Sales Coordinator at Quincy Media Inc., her role consisted of training and supporting the sales support staff in Quincy’s 16 markets.  She also handled communication and reports for the company’s VP of Sales.

Brittany is a quirky, creative, introverted-extrovert, focused on solving problems and dedicated to producing high-quality results.

Brittany is a graduate of The University of Wisconsin – Madison (On Wisconsin!), and currently lives in Blue Mounds, WI with her husband, Tyler, and two children, Hailey and Mason.

When she’s not behind her computer, you can find her spending time outdoors with her family.  She enjoys camping, kayaking, fishing, crafting and growing food in their backyard garden.




Kathrine Glass is a Senior Marketing Consultant.

Kathrine Glass, PMP, ACC has been inspiring individuals and leading teams for over 25 years with her “we can make it happen” attitude. She is a successful entrepreneur, sales and marketing expert, Project Management Institute certified Project Management Professional, and International Coaching Federation certified coach.

Kathrine is an idea person with the resourcefulness and grit to get things done. For much of her career, she has worked on behalf of local broadcast stations to develop campaigns and sponsorships for clients of all sizes. Having served in production, marketing, sales, events, and syndication, she has a unique perspective that stations and clients welcome. In addition, she has worked side by side with sellers across the country, helping them create new revenue streams by identifying non-traditional marketing decision-makers.

She started her career producing commercials, music videos, and corporate films. And was soon recruited by The Dallas Morning News, an A.H. Belo newspaper, to run a multi-million-dollar advertising budget.

After fine-tuning her marketing chops, she moved to oversee business development, equipping sellers with tools and ideas to secure incremental local and regional advertising dollars. It was in this role Kathrine had the ability to employ all platforms in Dallas-Ft. Worth owned by Belo with new advertisers ... from local broadcast (television) to cable to digital platforms including extension products like and

In 2005, she founded C&S Creative Solutions, Inc., an innovative project management and marketing firm and one of her first clients was WFAA-TV, the Dallas ABC affiliate. Since then, Kathrine has worked with a myriad of local broadcast stations across the country, both television and radio, in the generation of new and incremental revenue on all their platforms. Joining was a natural fit for Kathrine, her station partners and their advertiser clients have embraced her collaborative style and results oriented thinking.

Kathrine is a graduate from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas, and received a Graduate Marketing Certificate from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. She is an avid dog lover and fosters pups in need. In addition, she and her husband are foodies and love to travel. They currently reside in Dallas, Texas.





Margie Chilson is a Senior Marketing Consultant for

Her vast experience includes nearly three decades in broadcast television and digital sales marketing, working in and with multiple markets and affiliations including Dallas-Fort Worth at WFAA, Denver at KUSA-KTVD, KMGH, KWGN, and as a team manager at Millennium Television Sales.

Margie’s years as a local seller were award-winning and inspiration for her jump to She exceeded new business and digital goals on a consistent basis at Belo Corp., Scripps, Tribune, and TEGNA Inc. stations. A true innovator, Margie pioneered job-sharing positions in Dallas and Denver, balancing hectic work schedules and family, paving the way for working parents with careers in media sales.

Margie is well known and respected for her diligence, drive, and new business results. Due to her years in the business as an account executive and sales leader, she knows the station environment well and can easily relate to local sellers as well as the most senior managers.

An alum of Oklahoma State University who graduated with Honors in Journalism Advertising, Margie boasts an outstanding track record of helping business owners strategically grow their revenue through broadcast, streaming and digital solutions.

Margie and her husband Tim have been married for 23 years. The couple and their two children live in Littleton, CO, a suburb of Denver. Their son, Ryan, attends the University of Colorado Boulder, and their daughter, Mary, is in high school.  In their spare time, the Chilsons enjoy travel, hiking in the picturesque Rocky Mountains, cooking, watching movies, and cheering on their kids in various sporting events.







About Jim Stoos

Jim Stoos is SVP, Revenue Drives at

For over 20 years, Jim has crafted successful marketing programs for hundreds of local businesses.

His expansive media experience includes delivering significant advertising results utilizing broadcast, digital, cable, and radio.

His specialty is helping small-to-medium-sized businesses address sales and marketing challenges while developing game-changing strategies with real-world creative solutions.

Prior to joining, Jim held strategic management positions as Regional Vice President, General Manager, and Local Sales Manager at television and cable companies in the Midwest.

His leadership roles give him the opportunity to apply principles in helping sellers and media marketers develop campaigns, combining broadcast and digital solutions, to positively impact local business owners’ success.

The media veteran’s skill set also includes web design, email marketing, audience extension and targeting using display or video, as well as OTT and Streaming platforms. This extensive digital background allowed him to launch a suite of digital solutions for an entire sales division.

He lives in Bettendorf, Iowa, with his sweetheart Stacy, and his two sons.

For years Jim has worked as a dedicated member of Iowa’s Big Brothers Big Sisters program. Jim was a multi-sport college athlete and today enjoys running in competitive track meets for “old guys”.

In his spare time Jim enjoys working out with his boys (both scholarship track athletes at St. Ambrose University in Davenport), camping and riding his horses.








holly allenHolly Allen is a Senior Marketing Consultant.

With nearly 27-years in the industry, including over five years as President & General Manager of FOX23 and MY41 in Tulsa, OK, Holly has developed a deep expertise in many facets of media. However, her true passion is working directly with clients.

Her “no box” thinking and creative mind allow her to design effective marketing strategies that drive significant results for advertisers.

Holly believes the first step to helping a business grow is to “peel back the layers” to uncover their unique needs, goals, and opportunities.

Next, she formulates and executes a thorough, well-rounded marketing plan that exceeds their expectations.

She enjoys the brainstorming process and seeing clients get enthusiastic when her strategies bring their businesses to unprecedented levels of success.

Experts say the greatest predictor of success is past success, which rings especially true with Holly’s career. Starting as an effective ad agency rep, she quickly moved into broadcast sales and marketing.  Moving up through the sales ranks, Holly eventually became the President & General Manager of a pair of dominant broadcast television stations in Tulsa, OK.

Most recently she founded All-en Media, LLC, where she works with clients in various categories, including auto, banking, retail, and more.

A proud graduate of Oklahoma State University, she lives in Tulsa with her high school aged daughter Lila, while her son Henry attends the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Holly enjoys long walks outdoors, visiting with family and friends, and volunteering her time to local causes whenever possible.


John Hillary is a Senior Vice President at

Since 2006, John has worked directly with thousands of small-to-medium-sized businesses, developing fully integrated, results-driven media marketing strategies that have consistently helped meet and exceed client goals.

John began his career with New Revenue Solutions (NRS) in Atlanta, GA. During his tenure with NRS, John consulted for 25 different media outlets in television, digital, radio, cable, and print, throughout the U.S. and Canada. As one of NRS Media’s lead consultants, John helped hundreds of local businesses grow through innovative and creative advertising campaigns.

Due to his success at helping businesses and stations drive revenue, he was recruited to join WCIU-TV in Chicago as an Account Executive. There, he worked with local, regional, and national businesses collaborating on innovative ways to make advertising messages resonate with customers in a large, competitive marketplace.

In 2017 John joined as Senior Marketing Consultant, and in 2023 was promoted to Senior Vice President.

John’s energy, passion, creativity, and understanding of results-oriented marketing strategies have consistently made him a vital asset to clients and company colleagues in every phase of his career.

A native of Grand Rapids, Michigan, John graduated from the University of Michigan and remains an avid Wolverine fan.

John and his wife Katie reside in Roswell, GA and are proud parents of daughter Nora and son Henry.


Billie Adkins is a Senior Marketing Consultant for

She is an expert at crafting innovative, creative strategies that get dramatic results for advertisers.

Decision-makers appreciate Billie’s unique ability to ask the kind of provocative questions that lead to the development of distinct and effective TV and/or digital creative that gets viewers’ attention and drives consumer action.

Through her 25-plus years in media, Billie has developed an extensive professional portfolio with a depth of experience that includes a variety of management positions in sales, and important posts in news, production, station promotion, and market research.

As a General Sales Manager at WDTN, the NBC affiliate in Dayton, Ohio, she led a multimedia marketing team that specialized in achieving clients’ marketing and operational goals with a client-centric approach.

She embodies all aspects of the philosophy recognizing that each business is unique, with its own challenges and opportunities. In order to build a results-driven advertising plan for clients, you must first understand the business and then formulate a strategy to make the company stand out from competitors.

Billie resides in Carlisle, Ohio with her husband and two children. When not traveling the country for, helping business owners increase their sales, she enjoys family time, reading, and coaching soccer, often cheering for kids that need a special someone in the stands just for them.