Brady's Bunch

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Reader's Digest Editor in Chief Jackie Leo and VP-Publishing Director Laura McEwen lunched on a vintage day at the Four Seasons. David Rockefeller, Bubbles Sills, Rudy Giuliani, Roger Ailes with Mort Zuckerman, Edgar Bronfman Jr., Felix Rohatyn, and their boss, RDA Chairman-CEO Tom Ryder, were to right and left. Laura says ad pages will close up 13% for the year with circ at 10 million plus another mil in the Spanish and large print editions. "We're bigger than most networks," says Jackie. Surpris- ing me was her disclosure 80% to 90% of edit material is now original. "We've fundamentally changed everything without changing the DNA, new body type, new logo, an entire redesign and a broadened focus." Audience age? Feisty Jackie bristles, "we're 49-50 but you can't be punished for having older readers-not when we have more readers in their 20s and we're getting 14-year-olds writing in." Laura says new advertisers include Levi Strauss and Dell Computer. In August they'll celebrate their thousandth issue (it all started in 1922), by looking not backward but into the future with an issue on "trends that will change your life-ideas that exist already but haven't yet achieved critical mass. It's the only magazine in the world that's really dual gender and multiple generational." Also new, adds Jackie, a 20-year book deal with the biggest (and government-powered) publisher in China. "They love us, and we'll distribute their books here. Only a book deal at first, but after that ..."

From Popular Science, Gregg Hano reports they scored a third "biggest issue ever" in the past 13 months. The current (December) book will be up 20% in ad pages and dollars over last year.

New NBC news anchor Brian Williams hosted Esquire's "best & brightest" party last Thursday.

Longtime Herald Trib fashion artist Joe Eula died in upstate New York at 79. He and columnist Eugenia Sheppard used to be attached at the hip at the Paris and Italian couture collections.

Celebrities sell! People en Espanol thinks so and it's giving contributor space to three Hispanic celebs: Jai Rodriguez of "Queer Eye," music mogul Emilio Estefan (Gloria's hubby) and astrologer Walter Mercado.

Family Fun donating money to and cooperating with the Marine Corps' "Toys for Tots" program this Christmas.

Us magazine starting to get under the hide of People?

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