Brady's Bunch

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The really simple thing to say about AOL Time Warner's Real Simple, the magazine, is that the "word of mouth" has been lousy. So I had lunch with Publisher Andy Sareyan and Managing Editor Carrie Tuhy to ask: Wasn't there anything positive going on? Well, here's their story and remember, both came out of the very successful In Style, Andy as founding publisher of Real Simple, and Carrie as a quick replacement for Susan Wyland. The magazine launched in April a year ago. In its first year the 10-times book averaged 68 pages of ads per issue, exceeding projections by 30%. It boosted initial circ of 400,000 to a 700,000 guarantee last month. After four issues it applied for ABC membership. Newsstand averaged 240,000 copies over the first eight months. And with a redesign and old pro Tuhy calling the edit shots, Publisher Sareyan is taking encouragement from recent, more positive stories about Real Simple in The New York Times and WWD ... Says Andy, "Regardless of short term, we're staying focused, putting the reader first, and I think we'll have another big rate base increase, probably by the start of next year. We're confident."

Tricia Keating is new sales director for Entertainment Weekly.

John Pagliaro and his colleagues at Old House Journal aren't resting on their laurels. Up 17% in ad dollars last year, it's launching a new TV series (13 episodes over PBS) reaching 97 markets. In this one, host Mitchell McDaniel will restore and remodel a Mediterranean Revival house in Jacksonville, Fla. They're currently selling sponsorships for the series.

Parade added top personal finance writer Andy Tobias. Smart guy. You and I should have Andy's portfolio.

Anne Triece of Metropolitan Home sends along the 200-page 20th anniversary edition (March/April) in which among other things, the magazine compares 1981 flea markets to today's eBay and nominate the 100 best recent design ideas, headed by the compact disc, the Seconda chair, the spaceship Columbia and MTV. Other winners include Post-It notes. Good fun. And the ad pages for the issue are 12% ahead of the same issue last year.

Fortune named John Donnelly national ad director.

In L.A., Paul Horne of Hero, the gay men's monthly, says the most recent issue was up 30% in pages over last year.

The redesigned Premiere's on the stands. Nice job by Editor Michael Solomon et al.

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