Brady's Bunch

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Has the magazine biz turned the corner? At Gourmet, Publisher Gina Sanders certainly thinks so. The June issue will be up 23% in ad pages over last year (and, says Gina, despite the slump, 2001 was an "up" year for Gourmet until Sept. 11), the rate base is now 900,000, the cover price is up. Since Editor Ruth Reichl came aboard the fall of `99 and positioned the monthly as "lifestyle" as well as Epicurean, they've added 608 new advertising accounts. Not only that, over lunch Gina was raving about three National Magazine Award nominations, hot newsstand figures for the "Paris" issue and April's "10 great things about Brooklyn." More good news: she says the category itself is doing better! No Schadenfreude from la Sanders, I'll have you know.

Nifty Chris Matthews take on the Newsweek cover about Bill Clinton. Chris told Imus he'd expected Bubba to age gracefully, like King Farouk, getting fatter on the Riviera. No such luck.

Semper Fi! Clever idea from Men's Health: casting call for a cover guy at Camp Lejeune, N.C., the big Marine base. Posters went up early this month and the mag will be there this week, winnowing what they say are hundreds of hopefuls down to 25 finalists on Thursday. The winner will be on the cover sometime this fall "either bare-chested or in T-shirt."

Close encounters: Helen Gurley Brown lunching at the Four Seasons and showing off to me a hole in the knee of her textured stockings.

The day before they won all those Pulitzers, The New York Times was badly shown up by the New York Post. The Times reported Oprah was flying to South Africa to launch a new edition of her mag in South Africa and said she'd be there for the event. The Pulitzer-less but feisty Post said Oprah canceled her trip to avoid travel risks.

Tom Brown, for seven years publisher of powerhouse Golf Digest, tells me he's now publishing PGA Tour Partners, an affinity club mag for golf fans. They've got half a million members and a redesigned mag .

Oops! Last week's column about an award given Gerry Byrne confused restaurateur Elaine Kaufman with a Manhattan impresario of the same name.

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