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In headline after headline last week, we saw the publicly traded companies share their quarterly earnings reports, and there was a consistent pattern. Take out last year’s summer Olympics and core revenue is basically flat across the industry, maybe up just a tad.

That’s in a GREAT economy, with nearly full employment, a booming stock market, and so far not much disruption from an auto slowdown that we think is on the way. Could it be that these will be the good old days?

If a flat business doesn’t bother you, you should probably go back to paying attention to Sunday Night Football. But I know a lot of the leaders in our industry, and flat revenue bothers the hell out of them. It bothers me, as well.

In the simplest terms, we’re in a time of change. Actually, it’s been going on for a little while now. We used to be a business where demand exceeded supply. Like many of you, I grew up in that TV business. It was easy to be brilliant. Now, I realize that I wasn’t as smart as I thought – I just had great timing.

Today, it’s the opposite. We have way too much supply and not enough demand, especially in a year with no political or Olympics. If you look at the significant drop in national and the ongoing slippage of our auto revenue, 2017 is the year where the reduction of demand is becoming especially obvious.

Lower demand is scary because an entire market starts to scramble for the available business. When I share with a group of managers that the TV business “manages to take a 5% reduction in demand and successfully negotiate it into a 15% reduction in our business,” I hear a laughter of identification.

So, at all levels of our business—sales managers, general managers, and corporate—our focus needs to be on how we can increase demand.

The Demand Factors:

1. Ratings. As sales leaders, we have little control over this one. But, like many of you, I’ve worked for dominant stations and those that are “ratings-challenged.” There’s no question there’s more demand for the dominant station. Great ratings create demand for sure.

2. Owning KEY accounts. These are the station’s largest accounts. If you have truly built partnerships with the actual decision makers here, that has impact.

3. The size of your sales staff. Many reading this remember when Mel Karmazin took over the CBS TV stations in the late 90’s and forced them to double the size of their sales staffs. I thought there were lots of flaws in how they did that, mostly because it became a “survival of the fittest” with little training, but Mel was inherently right. Ten people will produce more demand for your inventory than five. Having a bigger sales staff is a huge demand factor. What’s your plan?

4. Structural sales staff changes, with a goal of increasing sales call numbers. I applaud the groups that are looking for ways to do this. One major company is adding back sales assistants to help AE’s get out more. Many have moved the non-DMA local business away from local AE’s to free them up for more development time.

5. Superior AE selling skills. If your people can’t sell, then adding more AE’s and restructuring to increase call counts is like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. I think this is a real biggie. Because the last 20 years in our business have been so focused on demand management, rather than demand creation, most of the AE’s in our business today simply aren’t anywhere near strong enough at the basics of selling. Some companies are already focused on this and my sense is we’ll all need to ramp up this effort even more. It should be a priority for everyone.

6. Management relationships with clients. Ever compete with a station where the management is deeply connected to a lot of clients? It’s a real demand factor and one on which we can work. Regular readers of my commentary know I strongly believe in GM’s and sales managers spending more time out of the office interacting with clients. This is why. It can help you increase your demand.

7. Quality production. Not pretty production, but having a team with the ability to produce ads that work and therefore renew. Here’s one of the saddest things I see. A client new to TV doesn’t get the results they deserve because production produces pretty ads that don’t sell. This is a fixable problem.

8. Customer-focused digital sellers. A decade ago, our digital people were usually brought into a client by that client’s current TV rep. Today, I see more and more situations where it’s the opposite. Let’s face it. Digital services is becoming more and more a commodity business. That makes smart digital sellers, who truly understand how to solve client marketing problems and are also great communicators, critical. We have massive churn in our digital products (a subject for another article), but when a station has a great digital sales team, they create client loyalty. And loyalty is a demand factor for sure.

9. Promotional selling. We have to create revenue with great ideas. I know of stations that create ideas for big industrial accounts. Another has experimented with someone who knows how to access grant money. Another station encourages their AE’s to get creative with a cause they personally feel strongly about. Promotional selling today is way more than creating a Holiday retail package or selling your one-hour special 4x a year. Every station will need to have a budget for this kind of selling as we go forward.

10. A new business program that’s on steroids. Do you think you’re good at new business now? How would you double that? It’s not just about increasing the number of calls. It’s also about working to get higher closing percentages and to increase opening order size, and making sure that a big piece of the compensation for everyone in management is tied to success in this area.

11. Creating an UPGRADE mentality. Our Jim Doyle & Associates training program is called UPGRADE Selling®. We believe that the easiest way to grow revenue is from existing clients. We’re fanatics about new business and we teach AE’s how to ask for bigger dollars in new business than they’re comfortable with. But if you asked me for the quickest way to grow revenue, it’s from existing clients who already believe in TV and your stations, and have a relationship with your people. But that will not happen without a plan.

That’s my list. I’m sure you might put other things on it, but the real question is what should you do as a result of moving towards managing the demand factors you can control?

A simple exercise might be to work with your sales management team on a “Demand Creation SWOT” exercise – Strengths… Weaknesses… Opportunities… Threats.

Some of the things on this list (and anything you might add)…
  -What are we doing well?
  -What do we need to improve?
  -What should make us nervous?
  -What of the Demand factors would give us the biggest lift in sales?

The business growth guru, Dan Kennedy, always says, “Little action=Little results. Massive action=Massive results. That was his advice to the entrepreneurs he coached in the recession and it’s my advice to my TV colleagues today. Kennedy believes we have more control over our destiny than we think. You can call me an optimist, but I agree with him.

We can continue to take relatively incremental steps to solve the demand creation problem, but this week’s earning reports suggest we might want to step it up. We’ve got 14 months before we hit 2019. Most of us will have a great 2018, so that gives us a window to get a whole lot better at creating the demand we’ll need to help grow our revenue in the future.

Jim Doyle and the JDA team are passionate about helping sales managers get better. One of the ways they do that is the Sales Manager’s High Performance Boot Camp. This program gets rave reviews with a combination of real-world ideas and inspirational outside speakers. Our next Boot Camp is in Tampa, January 2018. More info: Boot Camp 2018 

There may be no better investment you can make in your future than to help your sales manager to get better.

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.