Brady's Bunch

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Several school districts, one in D.C., are banning "Catcher in the Rye." Holden Caulfield, you see, is white & privileged. How dare he!

Crappiest commercial now airing? Physicians Life delivers a pitch to poor folks, "Buy your burial arrangements coverage now." Kind of, send us your last few bucks before you croak.

The folks at Elle Decor, new Editor Margaret Russell and Publisher Tracy Gravant, are trumpeting their "younger" shelter book audience (37.9 median age) and point out that for an eight-times mag, 1,260 ad pages in 2000 was pas mal. Only Architectural Digest, a monthly, did better in the category. So even with Marian McEvoy jumping to House Beautiful and Paige Rense still riding high, Margaret & Tracy were preening at New York's "Winter Antiques Show" and raising the rate base as of this month to 450,000. Meanwhile, busy Margaret finished her new book, out in May, "Designing Women," all about leading style makers and their homes, with foreword by Martha Stewart.

Big book tour sendoff for "eLeadership" tomorrow at N.Y.'s Pierre Hotel. Written by Nextera principal Susan Annunzio, with able assist from former Ad Age Chicago Bureau Chief Julie Liesse, the Simon & Schuster book helps baby boomer managers in large corporations use the new economy to their best advantage and be responsive to their work force. Party is hosted by Michael Milken (who wasn't pardoned by Clinton). Seven-city tour runs through February.

Tom McCluskey at Biography writes, "in a tough first quarter," the magazine's "flying high" with ad pages through March up 23% over last year's opening quarter.

Hearst Magazines' Country Living and Country Living Gardener have a new associate publisher-advertising. He's Daren Mazzucca.

New senior sales rep at AARP Publications is Pat Slattery, who's worked for Newsweek and Compton Advertising.

Westwood One, the big radio outfit headed by Joel Hollander, says my pal Gordon Liddy's radio talker, now in 170 markets, was picked up by WAUR-AM in Chicago. Also, new exec VP-ad sales is Peter Kosann.

How welcome is this new "A Life of Boswell" by Peter Martin from Yale U. Press. Reading Boswell's "Johnson" every few years is an enormous consolation and pleasure. I may even buy Martin's book (35 bucks) if I can get a price.

I'm not quite sure the new Army spots are going to do it.

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