Brady's Bunch

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What's this? A major magazine that's actually having a good year? I lunched the other day with Allure's publisher, Nancy Berger (she took over April 2 from Suzanne Grimes who moved on to another Conde Nast Publications book Glamour). "I think we'll close this year up with ad pages at about 1,200," Nancy said. The Publishers Information Bureau number last year was 1,170 pages. In addition to a pas mal ad outlook, Ms. Berger reports, "Newsstand is up 12% this year, which is huge. Two issues topped 300,000 single-copy sales. And in January we'll increase our rate base from 850,000 to 900,000." What is it about the 10- year-old book that drives all this? Stability, for one thing. Linda Wells, the founding editor, is still at the helm. And how many mags can say that after 10 years? For another, the nature of the beauty biz. Suzanne Grimes always said, "She may not be able to afford the dress, but she can afford the lipstick." Nancy, who spent years as ad director and associate publisher at Vanity Fair, echoes Grimes and elaborates: "Beauty does well in a down market just as the accessories business does. In addition, new launches are so important." This second half there will be 14 major fragrance launches (and the ad budgets to go along with them) and 27 different cosmetic launches. What else is going on in Nancy's life? Well, she's got two sons now, the elder, at three, already a golfer of considerable talent. "Players gather around at the club to see him hit," she claims. Proud momma stuff, maybe. But would a magazine publisher exaggerate?

Hachette Filipacchi Magazines' Travel Holiday, marking its centennial, is enjoying a startling 30% first half jump in ad sales. How so? Publisher Jeff Foley and rival Dawn Drew of National Geographic Traveler buried the hatchet and jointly pitched and won the Pacific Asia Travel Assn. campaign to run in both books.

It may have been overlooked in the July 4th holiday confusion, but Jim Dimonekas was promoted to VP-publisher of Playboy. The 39-year old is married, lives in Darien, Conn., has a son Zach, and before joining Playboy in '91 was at The National, PC Week and Military Lifestyle Mag.

Ave atque vale, Walter Isaacson. Stout fellow!

Links, the privately held golf mag based at Hilton Head, is doing O.K. Through July/August issue, new ad revenues rose 3% over last year, their best ever.

Speaking of golf, Ely Callaway was one of the most extraordinary business execs I ever knew. Ran Burlington Industries, founded a top vineyard, invented the Big Bertha, died at 82.

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