Author (and ESPN guy) Jeremy Schaap and his Cornell classmate, literary agent Scott Waxman, may have come up with the cutest book marketing ploy of the year with Schaap's "Cinderella Man," all about James J. Braddock, a New Jersey longshoreman who came off the relief rolls of the Depression to win the heavyweight championship of the world. I was at Keen's Manhattan chop house the other evening for a book party organized by Schaap's publisher, Houghton Mifflin, and abetted by legendary PR man Joe Goldstein. I was aware a big budget movie about the "Cinderella Man," starring Russell Crowe, Renee Zellweger and, superb as Max Baer, Craig Bierko, was about to be released. "You're going to get rich," I told Schaap, "on your movie deal alone." "There is no movie deal," said Jeremy. "It was Scott's idea. He'll tell you about it." I cornered Waxman. "I learned that a movie with Crowe was in the works, and I told Schaap, why don't you write a book about Braddock, and we'll get it out about the same time?" So they did. And this isn't a quickie el cheapo. Jeremy can write. The yarn is elegant, thrilling and moving. As the author said, "It is in boxing that you find the best stories in sports." Then he told one, "I was interviewing [Mike] Tyson about his next fight with [Kevin] McBride and told him I was just back from Iceland. `I was up there to interview a guy like you from Brooklyn who became a world champion.' `And who could that be?' says Tyson. And I say, `Bobby Fisher.' `But he's nuts!' says Tyson," an acknowledged expert in such matters.
Bride's Magazine and Martini & Rossi Asti teamed for drinks toasting "50 of the world's wildest, most whimsical wedding cakes."
House & Garden sponsoring a designer showcase benefit gala June 25 for Southampton Hospital, says Publisher Joe Lagani, whose June issue will be 18% ahead on pages.
Delighted to see 65-year old Michael Coady back at work on a new California magazine venture. He worked for me as editor of WWD, helped create W, started feuds, caused scenes and turned John Fairchild's hair white. It was never dull with Coady.
Travel & Leisure's Nancy Novogrod invites me to lunch in June, its "go to a hotel month." We'll go to a hotel restaurant, natch.
Pink, a new mag for professional women, hit the stands May 23. Stories include, "how to get fired like a man."
Are the lad books fading out? Not according to Maxim Publisher Rob Gregory who writes to say, "June (up 9% in ad pages to 109.47) sets the tone for what is building up to be a tremendous year for Maxim. The issue marks the third month in a row over 2004 ... and July is going to be up as well." New advertisers, he reports, include Mitchum, Bridgestone Tires, Verizon and Stanley Tools.
Former East Hampton Star Editor Tom Clavin has a book out from Simon & Schuster golfers are snapping up, "Sir Walter," subtitled "Walter Hagen and the Invention of Professional Golf."
Crain's New York Business, a sibling mag to Ad Age, marks its 20th anniversary June 6 with cocktails at Metrazur in Grand Central Terminal.