Jack Kliger thinks large. The CEO of Hachette Filipacchi Media, also vice chairman of the MPA, updated me over lunch at the Four Seasons. They'll launch their new At Home with Chris Madden in May, put out half a million copies on newsstands, leave it out there for a time, see what happens and then go back in the fall. Key element, J.C. Penney. "They're not a financial partner but a marketing and distributing partner. And they will also take 50,000 copies." The beauty part of the deal? "She's [Chris] effectively built a brand so we don't have to build one, just extend one." HFM U.S. will also do a May launch of 400,000 copies of a new mag (well established in the U.K. but unknown here) called Red. "Think of it as Elle's older sister for real-life women, leading practical lives, but with fabulous shoes." The content, "lots of fashion, home decor, career." And the existing books? "Elle was up substantially (in ad pages) last year and up again this year. Over the last 18 months, very good newsstand. I'm focused on circulation economics (Elle sells 1.1 million); ads can come and go. Elle Decor and Met Home both went from 8 to 10 times this year. Woman's Day is our biggie, over 4 million copies. Car & Driver is our most profitable. But car books are off to a slow start this year with fewer new model launches." Speaking for MPA Jack says his campaign is working to get publishers to boost mags rather than trash each other. "In an age of constant interruption, magazines offer you engagement. I don't want to be a hero about this but I want 1%. A 1% improvement in ad sales for the magazine industry would mean 37,000 more pages or $1 billion." Pause. "But when I'm asked if I expect Forbes to stop selling against Fortune, No. But..." One table away, Dr. Kissinger goggled.
New book from Ruth Reichl of Gourmet, "Garlic and Sapphires," the "secret life of a critic in disguise." Launch party April 4 at Cafe Boulud, invitation only. Starts at 10 p.m. Oh so chic.
Tom Bair says Golf Digest's April issue will be their largest in six years with 300 total pages. It's their "Masters Preview" issue with Mickelson on the cover.
ESPN reporter Jeremy Schaap's first book out in May from Houghton Mifflin is all about Depression era longshoreman and heavyweight champ Jim Braddock. Mike Antinoro of ESPN is preparing a documentary on the pug they called "The Cinderella Man," a Damon Runyon label. Jeremy's dad, the late Dick Schaap, wrote 36 books.
Saveur holds its 20th annual Texas Hill Country Wine & Food Festival April 7-10.
And tomorrow Food & Wine hails its "best new chefs" at Skylight on Hudson Street. Chrysler, Ruffino sponsor.
Guideposts, the Norman Vincent Peale-created inspirational mag, celebrates its 60th anniversary this month. Diane Sawyer's on cover.
The previously mentioned Conde Nast book Domino holds its launch party April 12 at Skylight Studio in New York.
Breakfast at the 21 Club April 5 features Chris Matthews of MSNBC's "Hardball."