On the rise: Forker BRADY'S BUNCH

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Yet another space cadet, department of double comparatives: Linda Zelman of WCBS-AM in N.Y., reports the subways are getting "less dirtier."

As ad vet Bill Croke (formerly with JWT, Lintas) takes over as prez of Clark & Pope's new healthcare division, he reminds us famous Croke Park, Dublin, was named for his family.

Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt will help Outdoor Life celebrate 100 years of publication Wednesday evening at the Explorers Club in Manhattan. They're serving cocktails and handing out conservation awards.

Bicycling (Rodale) has a new San Francisco-based Western sales rep, Bryan McCarthy. He's 30 and will make all calls west of the Continental Divide on a 10-speed bike.

Popular Science hired Susan Kiltie as senior salesperson, Detroit office.

For the third summer, Tennis is offering Monday evening free clinics for account and media folks at the Tennis Club at Grand Central. To sked, call the magazine's Suzanne Santucci at (212) 789-3095.

Publisher Susannah Pask of Bridal Guide reports the May/June issue up 13% over last year in PIB pages and 26% in bucks. Pages for the year to date ahead 5%.

Newly promoted to publisher of Cruising World and Sailing World mags (Miller Sports Group) in Newport, R.I., Sally Helme. That's her name, I swear!

Smart move going from six issues a year to eight times for Elle Decor. The April issue (the first single-month issue they've done) ran 18% more ad pages than the April/May last year. Through July pages are 35% ahead.

JOB (Just One Break) last Friday at the Grand Hyatt New York saluted Ernie Speranza for his and his company's involvement (he's senior VP-ads and marketing for Toys `R' Us) with qualified disabled workers.

In Cleveland, Penton promoted Jeff Forker to group publisher of their newly formed Mechanical Systems/Construction group of mags.

You know how I like to keep up with such matters: in August there'll be a new hip-hop magazine called Blaze edited by Jessy Washington, a spinoff from Vibe.

Washingtonian salutes Ben Bradlee's penchant for the terse line. Asked to compare Nixon & Clinton, Ben said, "They're both liars."

If you, like me, haven't been keeping up with Hearst's Sports Afield, take another look. Having been brought up on the usual menu of outdoor mags: the irresistible trout fly, grizzly attacks, calling wild turkeys, a new breed of .22 and the latest in saltwater reels, I was hardly prepared for new Editor John Atwood, who grabbed me by the throat and forced the four most recent issues on me. I've got to admit, this isn't your father's Sports Afield. New format and graphics plus their take on the environment, mountain bikes, sea kayaks, the 50 best outdoor sports towns, etc. How this plays with guys in mackinaws dressing-out deer in the Adirondacks or muskie fishermen in Minnesota, I have no idea. But to me, it's cool.

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