A busy late-summer Monday for Hearst Magazines chief Cathie Black. In the evening she and her husband were hosting a book party for NBC's Andrea Mitchell and her new book, "Talking Back," at their Park Ave. apartment. Everyone who was anyone from publishing to the network to the Federal Reserve (Andrea's married to Alan Greenspan) would be there. Not me, alas, a pesky colonoscopy having gotten in the way. That morning The New York Times cited half of Cathie's mags for ad gains in September, Good Housekeeping up 29% in pages, Popular Mechanics up 26%, Esquire and even perennial also-ran Harper's Bazaar also ahead. Pop Mechanics Publisher Bill Congdon was especially buoyant, saying, "We even did our bit in the fashion area." I later spoke with Editor Jim Meigs who told me his 103-year-old monthly (even Thomas Edison wrote for Pop Mech) will create a stir late this month with its first-ever awards event honoring, "scientists and engineers who are making breakthroughs in technology." In February Working Mother mag (a 10X book with 800,000 audited circ.) hired Joan Sheridan LaBarge as prez and publisher. Their June issue was up 18% over last year and, according to CEO Carol Evans, the beat goes on. Nice comeback for Joan who formerly held top jobs at Hachette, Parade, Gruner, was group publishing director for Weider, and even made a pit stop at Rosie where, before the debacle, she boosted both pages and dollars. Her boss, Carol Evans, helped McCall's Publishing create Working Mother. That was her first tour at the mag where in the late 1970s, she grew their ad biz from $100,000 to $14 mil and circ from 100,000 to 700,000.
Former WWD staffer Kathleen Brady (no relation) is one of the several authors of "America's Mayor: The Hidden History of Rudy Giuliani's New York," published by Soft Skull Press. Others include Anne Roiphe; intro is by Jimmy Breslin. It's "a skeptical view," Kathy tells me.
Vibe sends along their latest fashion/beauty spinoff Vixen, 144 total pages with Keyshia Cole on the cover.
That must-read and very tough TV/sports columnist Phil Mushnick in the New York Post blasts the Chrysler commercial co-starring as golfing partners Lee Iacocca and Snoop Dog. Tagging Snoop as "a "godfather of gangsta rap and leading purveyor and profiteer of the gang culture," Mushnick urges Chrysler's board to get hold of Snoop's lyric sheets so they'll know what he's saying. And what Lee is chuckling about.
If you're at all passionate about serious, literate criticism, here's big news. Applause Books in Manhattan publishes on Sept. 14 three hardcover volumes of collected reviews and essays by the great John Simon, longtime New York magazine critic. The three are "John Simon on Theatre," "On Music," and "On Film." Simon fans can rejoice in anticipation; his many enemies groan.
Redbook hails "mothers & shakers" Sept. 20. Honorees include Mariska Hargitay, Trisha Yearwood and Sharon Stone.
Bimonthly Sierra magazine launches a new "green living" section. I thought that was the mag's thrust from the very beginning.