Malcolm Forbes often wisecracked how fond he was of nepotism in the workplace. His dad started Forbes magazine, which provided Malcolm with a career, and his four sons were all in the biz in one way or another. Now, over lunch at the Four Seasons, I've encountered firsthand another example of nepotism at the Forbes company's American Heritage, their very classy magazine. Richard Snow is the editor of American Heritage and his wife, Carol A. Smith, is the acting president of the Forbes affiliate that publishes Heritage as well as American Legacy and Invention & Technology. Why did all this come about and how are they getting along? Carol was installed as the acting president by Tim Forbes last year after her stints at George, Parenting and various Internet jobs. They've just increased the rate base by 10% to 340,000 and boast of an 80% renewal rate. The problem: Ad pages fell last year from 442 to 350. "This will be a tough year," said Ms. Smith, "but we just closed April with 44 pages, which is a lot for us." There's been a redesign, a new ad team is in place and she and Tim Forbes are evaluating whether she'll eventually drop the "acting" part of her title. Oh, yes, she and Editor Snow are still happily married.
Paul Turcotte, publisher of Men's Health, drops a note in which he says it closed the first quarter comfortably ahead of 2000, up 12.5% in ad pages and 16% in bucks. Nice start to what's supposed to be a soft year.
No slackers at Time Inc., where they just unveiled ON magazine, a relaunch of Time Digital, which began as a Time supplement in '95. Managing editor is Joshua Quittner; publisher is Dick Raskopf. Starting guaranteed rate base ain't bad, either, one million.
Entertainment Weekly has a new sales rep in that entertaining town where Tony Bennett left his heart. She's Annie Van Buren, a Bay Area native who now lives in Marin County, you know, north over the Bridge?
Tim Russert of "Meet the Press" is the breakfast speaker March 2 at the 21 Club.
Just back from Italy, Kathi Doolan of Departures is steamed at claims by W it's got the third "most affluent" magazine readers. Says Kathi, "Departures with a household income of $216,400, ranks highest, even ahead of The Economist and the Harvard Business Review, putting W in fourth place."
The ACLU sort of loses me when they support a First Amendment Award for trashy Larry Flynt.