Prime Time snip3swiftpage

This article is about a soapbox issue I’ve been focused on for much of the last year. It’s the glaring miss in your new business commission plan. 

Let me set the stage for this conversation. 

Almost every station pays a higher commission for new business. That’s because it’s so important. No disagreement there. 
But, there’s also this fact. Every station I have ever worked for knows how much a client has to spend in order to really see the impact of their TV/Digital program. Recently, in a Top 10 market, the consensus number was $25K per month for 3 months. In a smaller market, they said it was $5K per month for 3 months. But every market has a number. Spend that amount and it works. Spend less and the client won’t see results. I’m guessing your AE’s and sales leaders intuitively know that amount for their station/platforms. Many managers even work with AE’s to prospect with that higher spending level in mind. 

“Results level spending” means that when a client spends that amount they are likely to renew. If they spend less than that, chances are they’ll be “one and done.” And one and done is horrible for our new business efforts. 

So, here’s the question. Why are you paying a higher new business commission for sales we KNOW aren’t likely to renew? That is, in effect, rewarding behavior that really doesn’t have a long-term benefit to the station. Stop paying a new business commission for small orders. It’s bad for you, bad for your clients, and truly bad for the AE. 

Let’s take a step back. We pay a new business commission because a) new business is critical and b) we know it’s harder selling than transactional business. Like all commission plans, we’re trying to reward the behavior we want to encourage, and we surely want to encourage more aggressive new business development efforts by our AE’s. 

But AE’s need to understand that new business only becomes profitable for them (and the stations) when the client renews. I like to teach AE’s new business math to understand how much work it is to get a new client on the air. How many prospecting calls to get a good lead? How many good leads does it take to get a presentation? How many presentations do they have to make to close a sale? The exercise is designed to show AE’s that they’ve spent 30 hours or more on a typical new business sale. Even an aggressive new biz commission plan doesn’t make that profitable. It’s profitable when the client renews. So, when we don’t ask for enough money and the client doesn’t see results, we lose them. One and done. That’s a huge loss for the AE and for the station. 

How do you solve this problem of decreasing new business churn and helping your AE’s see the power of our products? Only pay a new business commission when the first order spend is higher than your churn number. In other words, if you know it takes $5,000 for three months to get a renewal, then why would you pay a new business commission for an order that’s less than that? 

Let me be bold. The win of an advertiser continuing with your station is so huge that it actually makes sense to pay a HIGHER commission for an order that will likely renew. But I would never pay a new business commission for any order that doesn’t spend enough to see an impact. If I were in charge of your pay plan, I’d lower the commission on any new client who didn’t have “results level spending.” But I’d make it even higher for those orders that did. 

I will guarantee you that the minute you only pay a new business commission for bigger schedules, your average opening order will start going up, and so will your renewals. That’s why this is a huge win! 

There’s also a significant side benefit. Your AE’s, especially the newer ones, get demoralized when the schedule they sell a new client doesn’t work. On the flip side, when they see their clients getting results, it increases their belief in the power of our product. 

In our training sessions with stations, we always say, “Serious Money = Serious Results. Little Money = Little Results.” 

As leaders, we’re encouraging our AE’s to ask for little money. Hey, we’ll pay you a big commission, regardless of the spend. When you change your pay plan, folks will immediately start asking for more money, results will go up, and your first new business sales will lead to renewals. 
Paying a higher commission for new business sales that will never renew because of little results is one of those examples of “this is the way we’ve always done it” thinking. As our business changes, it’s one thing I think we need to change. 

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.

We’re also taking reservations for our 2018 High Performance Sales Manager’s Boot Camp – January 28-30th in Tampa, FL. Do you know someone who could benefit from this high intensity training? Someone who would walk away saying what this LSM did after attending Boot Camp – “This was life changing in both my personal and professional life in many ways… But not in the motivational type of way. In a real-world, step-by-step, instructional action plan type of way!”  Interested? Go to BOOTCAMP or contact Anne Fowler, or call 941-926-SELL (7355) for more info.

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.