Brady's Bunch

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In a continuing down ad market and with a war raging, Hearst and Disney are rather gutsily doing a major magazine launch next week. On sale will be the premiere issue of Lifetime, edited by Sally Koslow, with an opening rate base of half a million and an astonishing 30,000 newsstand checkout pockets. I lunched the other day with the editor and Publisher Susan Plagemann, who had her third child only four months earlier. Susan filled me on both new babies. Billed as "real life, real women," the new book will be out twice as a bimonthly before going 12X in September. Susan says, "Hearst is not messing around," not with a 2.7 million piece mail drop, Lifetime TV, Lifetime-dot-com and E-mail blasts, plus lots of in-house promo in other Hearst titles. Yes, they'll have celeb covers, a clean, uncluttered inside layout by Siobhan Hardy, and they're targeting thirtyish women with attractive demos. The big ad categories: beauty/fashion, auto, financial, pharmaceuticals, packaged goods and home.

Still it's a pity Hearst had to kill off Victoria after 16 years and with a circ of nearly a mil.

Daily News Exec VP-Associate Publisher (and media maven) Ira Ellenthal's written a memoir of his colorful dad, "Slootie's Wars" (Trafford Publishing), with a swell Pete Hamill foreword. The Old Man, apparently, was a more colorful character even than the son.

They threw a book party for the great George Lois and his new book "Sellebrity" at Bergdorf's hosted by Esquire and Armani. How chic can you get!

The delightful and feisty Buffalo News columnist Bob Curran died at 80. A grad of Boston Latin and varsity footballer at Cornell, he was a Ranger platoon sergeant who fought his way across Europe. Favorite column tag line, "Hang tough!" Bob always did.

Parade says 13 million America kids are hungry or at risk of hunger. They're doing a cover story about it April 27 and launching a national program to raise dough for "Share Our Strength," an established anti-hunger program. The magazine's gotten ABC-TV actor John Ritter, top chefs and foodies involved.

The New York Sun marks its first anniversary April 15 at a newsroom breakfast. There are those who doubted the new daily would make it to a year.

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