Ad rates are up 30% to 40% this year as political advertisers have tightened inventory for regular advertisers, said Vince Thompson, who runs MELT Atlanta, an ad agency with clients such as Wellstar and AFLAC.

“It’s been a massive windfall for the TV stations,” he said. But he said rates should go back to something closer to normal in 2023 and based on the healthy planned ad buying budgets of his clients, there appears to be waning concern about a recession.

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