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"Boffo!" That's the Variety-speak kind of reaction they're hoping for this morning over at showbiz bible Variety, as the first-ever issue of their new daily, a New York-oriented version called Daily Variety and subtitled "The Gotham Edition," goes on sale. The actual mag comes weekly and has since 1905; a Hollywood daily has been out there since 1933. But a daily New York Variety? That's news. The guys behind it all are Editor (and former movie producer) Peter Bart and Publisher Gerry Byrne. Byrne and I had lunch the other day and he gave me this fill-in: They'll put out a total of 15,000 copies of "Gotham" today to subscribers and at a $1.75 cover price on newsstands. He reckons eventually the sale will be two-thirds subs and the rest on the stands. In 56,000 New York-area copies of tomorrow's Wall Street Journal they'll insert a copy of the initial issue of the new Daily Variety with a message suggesting, "if you were a subscriber, you'd have had this yesterday." The issue will be edited in L.A. although four new edit staff headed by bureau chief Martin Peers have been recruited for N.Y. Printing is done by Mack at Easton, Penn. Variety is part of Cahners Business Information group, parent company of which is the big British-Dutch outfit Reed Elsevier. All clear now?

Golf & Travel is celebrating its first anniversary with its April/May issue and has just been esteemed with its first editorial award, a merit award for photography from the Society of Publication Designers. G&T also won a silver medal for circulation promotion in Folio's 11th annual Ozzie awards. Not bad for the first year of publishing, eh?

Don Welsh got his brand new Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel off to a lively start with a story in USA Today and Mr. Frommer on the "Today" show. Full of tips on cheap travel, the mag itself is slick with lots of good four-color photography.

At Self, Editor Rochelle Udell hired a West Coast editor and a good one, Susan Mulcahy, who most recently created the cool Mr. Showbiz Web site for Paul Allen's Starwave in Seattle. She previously was editor of Avenue and ran Page Six for the New York Post.

Wow! At Architectural Digest Peter Hunsinger reports the April issue will be up 96 ad pages or 79% over April a year ago. It's the Hollywood issue that annually snaps, crackles & pops thanks to Paige Rense and her doughty edit folks.

The very gracious Michael Gottsacker of St. Paul sends along a tip on how I can punctuate French words properly using a PC.

Lee Jones says Entrepreneur raised the rate base to 525,000 effective with the March issue. No ad rate boosts, says Lee.

Inside PR saluted Barbara Molotsky, prez of Bozell's Chicago unit, as a "consumer marketing all star."

Men's Journal hired a new staff photog, Andy Anderson.

Family Life promoted Lucille Sitra to Eastern ad manager and Marc Gordon to the equivalent Western job.

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