And Now, A Few Costly Words From Our Sponsor

Ad rates climb even as network ratings continue to drop

Hey, aren't the TV networks supposed to be in the doldrums these days, their audiences siphoned off by cable and the Net? That's not what Aaron Cohen found. Cohen, executive vice-president of New York-based Horizon Media Inc., will end up buying $390 million worth of ads this year for such clients as Boston Chicken, Geico Insurance, and Sony's Columbia-Tri Star studio. Even as early as last month, as he was looking to buy a string of spots for a client, Cohen found prices only climbing. "We ended up spending a goodly few millions," says Cohen. "It sure didn't turn out to be cheap."

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