Elle Group Publishing Director Carol A. Smith took me to lunch at the Palm (West 50th) to introduce brand-new Elle publisher (it was his second Monday on the job and he was off to Milan and Paris), 41-year-old John Rollins, who began life selling ads for the school mag at Holy Cross. "I was an intern at Rolling Stone, hoping to be either the next Hemingway or Hunter S. Thompson. But I found I was better at selling ads." How's the Hachette Filipacchi book doing? I asked Carol. "Circulation is 1 million and growing. 2003 (after a slack 2002) was up 11% in ad pages, 2004 up 13%, and year to date through June of `05 we're 14% ahead." They all credit Editor in Chief Roberta Myers for that. The big news is their American 21st anniversary issue in October. "Bloomingdale's helped us launch in 1984 with several thousand copies of French Elle translated and sent over. It sold out so we did a second experimental issue that year. ...This year we went to Bloomies [where they'll host a party] again. And we have 21 vendors behind the anniversary issue. Gilles Bensimon will do the photography." As for its current ad ranking among fashion mags, Carol says Elle and W are vying for third place in pages behind InStyle and Vogue. And ElleGirl has gone from eight issues to 10 times with circ growing.
The launch issue of At Home with Chris Madden (also Hachette) arrived, 144 pages in total with extra-heavy glossy cover stock, and Chris herself on the cover. Dandy looking stuff with Katie Couric opening up her country getaway and Nobel laureate Toni Morrison talking about home as "almost theater ... adventure and excitement."
Also just out (from Conde Nast) Domino, "the shopping magazine for your home," edited by Deborah Needleman, published by Beth Fuchs Brenner. Who says the magazine biz is dozing?
Midwest Living has raised its rate base to a strapping 925,000.
Lynette Harrison tells me In Style (Time Inc.'s winner) is 9% up in ad pages through May. They've also got a sensible new gimmick, a perforated table of contents you can tear out and use as a bookmark.
Publisher Diane Oshin says All You mag, a Time Inc. monthly bargain-priced at $1.47 on newsstands, is doing OK .May was their best issue to date and they'll run 80 plus ad pages in June.
Teach for America, a charity that funds efforts to strengthen public schools in N.Y. and elsewhere, honors Rupert Murdoch Wednesday at its Waldorf-Astoria annual benefit dinner.
Jim Sheeran writes from Palm Beach that his Palm Beach Society, "with perhaps the smallest print run of any well-known publication, 5,000 a week, continues to grow big time." Why? "There's an invisible conveyor belt of richies between Palm Beach and Manhattan." It runs about 1,500 pages a year, half edit, half ads.
No bargains at Penn Station's Hudson News. For a 35¢ Washington Post you pay $1.75. In D.C. at Union Station, you pay a buck for The New York Times, same as you do in N.Y.