Sex for Sales

 WOIO GM Bill Applegate

WOIO GM Bill Applegate

A former sales executive at WOIO in Cleveland says that the station encouraged the use of sexual favors and sexually explicit tactics to entice advertising clients and that drug use and alcohol use at advertising-related events was common.

Wow! Every sales meeting I ever sat it was nothing like this.

Kevin Flanigan has filed a lawsuit against WOIO-Channel 19 and its parent company Raycom accusing the local station of creating a sexually hostile work environment and retaliating against an advertisement sales employee who complained about it to station managers.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that Flanigan is asking that the station pay him for lost sales commissions and other economic and emotional damages.

William Applegate, vice president and general manager at WOIO, said while the station would not normally comment on pending lawsuits that "the numerous offensive and erroneous allegations contained in this suit compels us to strongly deny them on behalf of the station and particularly our employees, viewers and clients."

"And yes, we certainly do intend to defend ourselves vigorously," Applegate said in an email to The Plain Dealer.

Flanigan said that despite being among the top performers in the department, he was pressured to engage in inappropriate sexual contact with other employees and clients and the use of drugs at corporate events involving clients.

According to the lawsuit, the drug use and sexual favors were common and encouraged to "foster new business relationships."

Flanigan's lawsuit cites several alleged instances of sexual favors, including one party on the boat of a corporate advertising client during which female employees of the station wore bathing suits and drank alcohol.

Needless to say, FTVLive has sent our resume for a sales job at WOIO. 

Stay tuned....