Lunched with Bob Guccione Jr. the other day at Michael's restaurant where, coincidentally, Jann Wenner was having a meal with Bob Kerrey (several days before the stuff hit the fan). Guccione informed me, a) he's getting married, and b) ad pages are actually up at his magazine Gear: first-quarter pages at 112 pages were 12% ahead and revenues up 17%. In September it will increase the rate base from 425,000 to half a mil, and their first-ever ABC report ought to be out right about now. Gear opened its first Midwest sales office headed by industry vet Dennis Wiesnioski and hired a New York sales manager, Ali Boneval, to work under new Publisher Bob Lee.
Nina Lawrence tells me Bride's, with 1,103 pages, ranked first of all mags in first quarter ad pages. Last year it was third behind Industry Standard and Business Week.
National Geographic Adventure also is boasting of a record first half, with ad pages 16% ahead. Chris Saks claims it's the only outdoor mag reporting 2001 gains.
At the Rainbow Room in Manhattan on May 17, House Beautiful's Marian McEvoy hosts a black-tie dinner and awards honoring "giants of design," including longtime shelter mag editor Lou Gropp.
Golf Digest shook up the lineup. Robert Carney becomes creative director, Roger Schiffman is promoted to managing editor, Mike O'Malley is upped to executive editor while John Barton's responsibilities are broadened. All report to Chairman Jerry Tarde.
Hearst Corp. is trotting out Oprah Winfrey on a four-city (Raleigh/Durham, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Baltimore) promo tour next month to plug the magazine.
I'm told Av Westin jumped at the chance to review Don Hewitt's book for Variety. Wonderful op to settle a few scores.
Dept. of good ad biz names: Phineas Gay, co-founder and now chief marketing officer of Direct Results Group in Boston.
The great Paige Rense celebrates 30 years as editor in chief of Architectural Digest May 22. Mr. and Mrs. Si Newhouse host a reception at their home.
The Village Voice hands out its annual Obie Awards for Off-Broadway talents May 21 at Webster Hall. Hosts and presenters include Marian Seldes, Brian Murray, Dick Cavett, Linda Lavin.