Pair the Ivy League with the Big 10 and what do you get? A decidedly resurgent Self magazine. I lunched with editor Lucy Danziger (Harvard, varsity crew) and new publisher Kimberly Kelleher (intramurals at Wisconsin) to find out just what they're doing over at their soon-to-be 25-year-old monthly to have them up 170 ad pages (20%) through May after a flat 2004. Kim came aboard 10 months ago when Beth Brenner was dispatched to launch a new Conde Nast mag. Circulation rate base went up 50,000 this month to 1.35 million and they're scoring on newsstands as well, selling 350,000 to 400,000 per issue ("we sold nearly half a million with a Kelly Ripa cover," adds Lucy). So, what's the secret? "A new publisher, new look (the makeover by Cindy Searight), and a new team that hit the ground running." The whole idea is, says Lucy, "Before you get dressed, before you choose the clothes, it's fitness. You work on the body." So much so they launched a new Diet Club in January, subscribers only, please, which already has 52,000 members. They've declared April 5 "Self Day," with a national promotional effort that includes taking over the entire cosmetic floor at Macy's Herald Square (and that's the store's vast ground floor). Kim, married but with no kids (Lucy has a couple) worked at Elle, Mademoiselle and Golf for Women where she was named a 2003 Media Maven, tells me all ad categories are up, beauty, fashion/retail, auto, and financial. Having also worked at Teen, Kim says Self's audience of grown-ups reminds her of the teen books with their enthusiasm for the magazine. Adds Lucy, "I get letters thanking me for running an ad for some product they just bought." With four National Magazine Award nominations in her 3 1/2-year tenure, Lucy says the big news is they're moving fashion far forward in the book. "It'll lead into fitness, health, nutrition. Fitness is our first fashion statement."
Steve Adler takes over from retiring Steve Shepard as editor in chief of Business Week on April 1. And, says Prez Bill Kupper, "that's no fooling."
Sir Harry Evans, with Sir Howard Stringer of Sony, among my favorite Brits, read from and talked at Guild Hall in East Hampton about his current book, "They Made America." The book, developed in tandem with PBS, is all about early innovators. I attended the Sunday afternoon show and can report if the publishing biz goes south, Harry can make a living doing standup. Tina wasn't there; home, minding the kids.
Busy, busy. Chris Madden, her new Hachette magazine launch set for May, today becomes spokesperson for Furnish a Future, a partnership for the homeless in New York.
Former House & Garden Ad Director Jennifer Matthews named publisher of Connecticut Cottages & Gardens, a monthly mag.
Alas, indie New York bookseller Applause Bookshop, founded in 1980, and situated at 211 West 71st St., is going out of biz this summer.
Patrick McEnroe's U.S. David Cup team lost to Croatia. I withhold comment.