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WALK MAN: PORTALE BRADY'S BUNCH

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From Ole Miss I receive Samir Husni's annual guide to consumer magazines. He informs us that 852 new magazines were launched in America in 1997. It only seems like 853.

Mitchell Fox reports from Vanity Fair it just closed its best first half ever, with ad pages up 21% over '97 to 851 pages. The June issue was up 45%.

The most prominent headline (right across the whole damned page!) in the "Week in Review" section of the April 12 New York Times, "America Is Prosperous and Smug, Like Japan Was." That's "as" Japan was, dummies.

Welcome back, Susan Sullivan. New York TV newsperson returns from DC to become news director of WNYW News. It's the Murdoch flagship station. Peter Lund years ago told me Susan would be the first-ever female news chief of a CBS station. It happened, but not at CBS.

On May 14 in Manhattan's Rainbow Room, react, the teen mag, salutes five young people for contributions to society. Advisory board members include Bill Bradley, Marion Wright Edelman, Bill Moyers, Anna Quindlen, Elie Wiesel and former Navy Secretary James Webb.

Lovely Nick Paumgarten piece about the Jersey Meadowland swamps in The New York Observer. Good enough for Talk of the Town in you-know-where.

I'm late on this and wish I could blame it on being snowed in. Snow Country has a new publisher, Mason B. Wells II. And a splendid chap.

Among those in yesterday's "WalkAmerica" 10-mile hike to raise funds for the March of Dimes, Elle Group Publisher Carl Portale and wife Carol. They've done the walk 10 times now and Portale beats the drums year- round pestering advertisers and others to help the March.

Did you know Sunset will celebrate its 100th anniversary end of this month? President Steve Seabolt (formerly ad manager of Time) heads the festivities at the Menlo Park, Calif. HQ.

Longtime ABC correspondent Jeff Greenfield, now at CNN, will be co-anchor of "CNNewsstand:Time" when it launches in June.

Julie Dannenberg is the new publishing director of Quest.

Seventeen promoted Robyn St. Germain to West Coast sales manager. And isn't it a splendid West Coast name?

Self Editor Rochelle Udell tires me out just reading about her. Rochelle's recent weight loss and pre-dawn (4:30 a.m.) workouts has 41,000 readers following her 100-day fitness regime. They had to hire a platoon of temps to handle the entries.

May 22! That's when Rolling Stone puts out its first ever sports issue. "Puff Daddy plays frisbee?"

This year's Pen Literary Gala at Lincoln Center will be May 11. Chairs are publisher John Sargent, Toni K. Goodale, Ted Leonsis. Authors at tables will include John Berendt, Russell Banks, Chris Buckley, Cynthis Ozick, Amy Tan, Wendy (Herself) Wasserstein among others.

University of Michigan alums Chris Webber and Juwan Howard sure making the old grads proud, aren't they?

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