At her request we took coffee the other morning in the "power breakfast" room of the Regency Hotel on Park Avenue so she could tell me I was wrong in recent criticism of the way she closed down Lear's magazine. Though I half-expected the Jimmy Cagney-Mae Clark grapefruit treatment, Ms. Lear was courteous if unrepentant. On the record she said:
No, her employees will get no severance pay. How does she justify this? She says her moral obligations were satisfied when she kept the mag going and people on salary for two years past the time she should rationally have gone out of business.
Yes, free-lancers will be paid when advertisers pay up. "Substantially all of our writers' and photographers' invoices have been paid."
She denies a single dollar of bank financing went into the magazine. "It was all my money." How much does she have left? "That's a private matter."
"This summer" she will release her first video counseling women on money and such. "I will be on the videos but not the spokesperson. There will also be entertainment." Does she remark the irony that having failed to make a go of the magazine and then shutting it down amid messy squabbling and lousy PR, she was now going to be advising others? Frances said the quality of her videos would be such, this presents no problem.
She bought the coffee.
Hurrah for Charlie Osgood, obviously the right man for the Kuralt job despite the radio commercials complication.
House Beautiful enjoyed its best May in six years with ad pages up 22 over last year.
Runner's World named Michael Grollman its new Midwest rep succeeding Jeff Broder.
Newsweek has a new VP-chief counsel. He is Stephen Fuzesi Jr. from White & Case, one of the leading "white shoe" New York law firms.
Dawn Steele Halbert is new associate Midwest ad director for Ebony, which she joined in 1987 from Chicago mag.
The East Hampton Star reports, "Police allegedly interrupted a couple making love in a dumpster" during the St. Patrick's Day parade in Montauk. "The couple was asked to go elsewhere."
Bud Trillin's little New Yorker piece about "Gunga Din's" being the best movie ever made is a classic. Also quite true.
Upsadaisy! TV Guide's ad pages in the first quarter rose more than 10% over '93 and revenues were up 17%. Tsk, tsk and pshaw! Announcing the death of TV news pioneer Betty Furness, Giselle Fernandez of CBS kept pronouncing her name as "Furnace."
tells me Omni ad pages for April were up from 49 last year to 66 this month.
Tennis Properties Inc. acquired majority ownership of TennisMatch magazine. They plan six issues this year, eight in '95.
Gourmet will be enjoying the merry month of May. Peter King Hunsinger says with 139 ad pages, this will be the mag's biggest May ever, up 48 pages over last year.
Malcolm Campbell upped by Spin magazine from East Coast sales manager to ad director.
Is Bob Costas just about the best interviewer on TV or what?
Marybeth Russell's The Russell Group in New York acquired the New York office of 3M Pattis and thereby established its own publishers' rep division.
Image Zone, the Manhattan outfit that does all those interactive presentations for clients, recruited Benito Vila as director of special projects.
Enormous doings Wednesday at Le Cirque where the top Manhattan restaurant celebrates 20 years in business with a cocktail party. Last week for several days owner Sirio Maccioni even dropped the luncheon price to the original $12.75. Ah, the good old days.
Traditional Home named Sharon O'Shea its first ever marketing services director.
Sales force reinforcements at In Style magazine, Amy L. Harris and Penn Jones. They'll be eastern and western ad directors.
A recent Sunday New York Times included a special magazine full of photos of haggard, unshaven, sunken-eyed men, young and old, and I thought, what a touching thing: a gallery of people suffering from AIDS. Then I realized it was the spring men's wear section.