Boler: Primary mission is focus on customers

Ken Boler is general sales manager of The Albany Herald.

Ken Boler is general sales manager of The Albany Herald.

ALBANY, Ga. -- Ken Boler knows he's in the hot seat and he is unfazed.

In a town still grappling with higher-than-average poverty, lower-than-average employment, and the effects of a stubborn recession that has business owners understandably stingy with their money, Boler has been tasked with the challenge of showing those business owners that The Albany Herald can help them grow their businesses.

It's a challenge the Augusta native has embraced.

"In terms of being a revenue driver, the one thing I will tell you is that we need to look at it from the perspective of the small business, the medium business and the large business," Boler said. "Because if we're doing what we need to do to help them leverage their business to the public and communicate ... then the revenues will take care of themselves."

An Air Force veteran who served abroad during Operation Desert Storm and Desert Shield and at posts in South Korea and Panama, Boler cut his teeth in the media business at newspapers in Florida, Mississippi and North Carolina before returning to Georgia and taking positions at the Savannah Morning News and the Gwinnett Daily Post.

He's a newspaper man with a multimedia flair who understands the paradigm shift brought about by today's technology-savvy media consumer.

"The newspaper business had to change as well," Boler says. "People are still getting their news via print; people are still getting their news via the online; they're still getting their news via the smartphone. It's our job to get it to them any way they want. We have more readers than we've ever had, it's just a matter of getting them their news the way they want to get it."

As general sales manager, Boler oversees The Herald's retail and classified advertising departments. He believes that media companies have to make sure they're taking care of their customers if they expect to succeed.

"If we're not doing what we should for our customer base, I can tell you we're done," Boler says. "I don't care if you're a newspaper, if you're television or radio, I don't care if you're selling signs on the side of a goat walking down the street, you better be taking care of your customers or you're done.

"My number one mission here is to take care of our customers, leverage customers, grow our customers and do what we say we're going to do, whether you're spending $300 a month with us, $3,000 a month with us or $30,000 a month with us. We better be good stewards with your spending and do everything we can to get you a good (return on investment)."

In his time away from work, Boler is an outdoorsman who loves to hunt and fish.

He's married and the father of two daughters -- each of whom graduated from the University of Florida. One is a tech sergeant serving in the Air Force stationed in South Korea; the other is a lawyer based out of Charlotte, N.C.

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