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Travel & Leisure's Ed Kelly is one feisty publisher these days. Re recent remarks by Lisa Henriques of Conde Nast Traveler, Ed declares: "Can't Lisa Henriques do better than that? We run a business here . . . and whether it's American Express or American Airlines, our advertisers pay the freight. Just call them and ask . . . By the way, did Lisa tally up her Visa, MasterCard, Discover and, oh yes, American Express lineage for you? I don't have the time to do that-I've got a business to run, not a chorus to conduct!"

Longtime magazine publishing exec Kitty Mountain joined Kaufman Films as exec producer. They're producing a new culture & travel series starring Emmy winner Pia Lindstrom of NBC (and daughter of Ingrid Bergman), that debuts this Wednesday evening over PBS. In this first show, Pia gives us . . . ta da! Morocco.

This year's Neal Awards, the most prestigious in business press publishing, will be handed out March 10 at the Equitable Center Theater in Manhattan. Gordon Hughes says among this year's presenters will be Pete Hamill, Marianne Dekker-Mattera, and longtime Fortune Editor Marshal Loeb of the Columbia Journalism Review.

Paul Wolsfeld reports in from La Jolla to say he now has his own website ( And so what? Well, Paul's the amiable whacko who rode a bike around the U.S. for six years dropping in on the top brass of the 1,500 largest American companies. Since then he's spent four years doing same in Europe and Japan. Says Paul, visiting French firms was "miserable," the Germans and Swiss threw open their arms, but right on expectations, the Japanese were secretive. "The dumpiest HQ?" He says in Britain it's GEC where even the board room needs a paint job.

I'm late, but they've got a new associate publisher at Better Homes & Gardens, Jeannine Shao, who's been ad director.

New president-publisher of Cherry Lane Magazines, a division of big music publisher Cherry Lane Music Group, is Ralph Monti. He'd been a magazine consultant and prez of Special Interest Media Inc. and is the author of the 1991 hardcover, "I Remember Brooklyn."

At Soap Opera Digest Linda Vaughan says it closed '97 up 21% in ad pages over '96. Food pages were up 22%, toiletries & cosmetics 8%; the really hot ad category was drugs & remedies, 54% ahead of the previous year in pages.

Roger Steckler also reports in from Kiplinger's that last year's ad pages rose from 835 to 934, a nearly 12% increase, '97 over '96. "Not bad for a single-magazine publisher," says Roger, when competing with what he calls, "the Gargantua/King Kong/Godzilla combine."

Signing a big bucks contract with the Yankees, Darryl Strawberry, who's averaged 30 games a year for five years, says he'll hit 30 homers and drive in 100. My question: is he smoking the funny cigarettes or is Der Steinbrenner?

If you've got a beauty account, watch Sephora. Industry maven Allan Mottus reports in his Informationist that the Paris-based retail cosmetic chain will open 200 units in North America. In Europe, they're killing the department stores.

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