A couple of years ago Peter King Hunsinger turned down the publisher's job at GQ but Conde Nast, like heaven, can wait. Last July Steve Florio offered the job again, Pete jumped, and has never looked back. Over lunch at Lever House, the lanky, casually elegant Hunsinger (he could be modeling for the mag) said ad sales are finally perking ("last year we had some challenges"), with GQ up 20 pages this month, 40 in September, and he reckons another 40 in October. For one thing, the auto biz is coming back (Ford's got a new Mustang that "goes back to its roots," Chevy has a new Corvette and Chrysler has a 300 model, Pete says, that "looks like a Bentley"). Circulation under Editor Jim Nelson is strong and they'll increase the rate base in October from 750,000 to 775,000 (hot rival Esquire is 750,000) and the cover price to $3.95 in December. Another plus, men's wear is hot. "Business is flush for all of us," says Pete. "Personal style is the word. Gone is the uniform of blue suit and white shirt. It's a modern cocktail of clothing, and tailoring is back. Last year, everyone was wearing chinos with a polo shirt you got at the last golf outing." He believes Milan is still "the heartbeat of fashion" but Paris and a new thrust along Savile Row can't be ignored, and lots of ideas come from "the New York and L.A. street." And the "lad" books? "The days of crazy growth are over but with circs like that, they can't be ignored."
Martha may be under a cloud but she sure ain't hiding.
Avery Corman, author of "Kramer vs. Kramer," and one of the good guys, writes to say his new novel, "A Perfect Divorce," will be out this September from St. Martin's Press. "I'd like to think [it] has some cultural significance in that it deals with expectations of divorced parents and the pressure on children of divorce."
Rose-Anne Tifre is the new publisher of Mira and Shape en Espanol, two American Media books.
Huzzahs to Randy Siegel, the publisher and now also president of Parade. Newly anointed Star Publisher Michelle Myers swiftly promoted Diane DePaul to associate pub.
Some of ESPN's 25th anniversary promo stunts have been lame but if you're like me, you're a Tony Kornheiser/Michael Wilbon junkie, and even in repeats, Tom Berenger's "Bear Bryant" in "Junction Boys" is socko.