Amid all the talk about Conde Nast's new skyscraper HQ going up in once-seedy Times Square, there's another Conde Nast venture making its debut much sooner, the revived (after three years) House & Garden, which will be out in late August with suitable promotions and flourishes. I lunched the other day at the Four Seasons in Manhattan with Publisher David Carey (he was founding publisher of SmartMoney) and Editor Dominique Browning. At nearby tables, Michael Eisner, Roger Ailes, Barry Diller, Mickey Schulhof, Marvin Traub and other glories, but I spent my time listening to young Mr. Carey and young Ms. Browning (who have, I hasten to assure you, both houses and gardens, though David acquired his only about 15 minutes ago in Scarsdale. "I thought I should," he said). Why revive a magazine they killed off so recently? "The reason it [HG] was killed was the acquisition of Architectural Digest," said Carey, "not declining circulation." The difference now? "The company realizes two upscale first-class products can co-exist. They stand for different things. Dominique is making sure of that." Carey expects to have 275,000 subs by issue date and sell big on newsstands, guaranteeing advertisers a 400,000 rate base. A page will cost $31,600 with discounts to advertisers who run in two of the four issues this year. David budgeted for 75 ad pages for the September issue but has orders now for about 110 pages with "most advertisers" buying two or three issues at a time. Dominique is high on Art Director Robert Priest and her right hand, Suzanne Slesin, formerly of The New York Times. "A moody magazine," envisions Dominique, "sometimes sunny and bright, at other times thoughtful, placid." The competition, says Carey: Elle Decor, House Beautiful, Martha Stewart Living, "but almost everyone is competition." Initial cover price is $2.95, and you can expect that to rise. And how was Dominique recruited? "Steve [Florio] called me one day at Mirabella [where she'd been editor only three months] and said, `So you're out of a job.' I said, `Steve, there are always rumors. Forget it.' And I hung up. Two hours later my own management told me they were shutting down." Did Steve call again? "I called him!" said the admirable Ms. Browning, who does not permit pride to stand in the way of progress.
Ed Daley of Minolta (he was a director of marketing and consumer product development) died at age 49 in Ramsey, N.J., of prostate cancer late last month. Fine fellow.
Ed Kelly reports Travel & Leisure will celebrate its 25th anniversary with the September issue and is boosting the rate base from 900,000 to 925,000 (with the extra 25,000 tossed in free as a gift to advertisers). The mag will host a bash aboard QE2 in October.
Next Tuesday (June 11) Seventeen introduces its eight 1996 cover model finalists over breakfast at the Rainbow Room in NY and I think we can be sure they're all most appealing young people.