Brady's Bunch

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Lunched at the Sea Grill in Rock Center the day they opened the ice rink with the folks who run maybe the hottest mag in the biz, Time Inc.'s 6-year-old InStyle, which now almost routinely puts out phonebook-sized issues (November, 586 pages, September over 700). Martha Nelson, the founding managing editor (at Time, that's the top edit job) reports to Norm Pearlstine, Lou Cona to group prez Ann Moore. Says Lou: circ currently is 1.57 million, rate base goes up to 1.4 million (7%-plus) in January, this year's ad pages should finish at 3,172, up 26% vs. '99. They'll do four additional issues, entertaining, The Look, makeover and weddings in the new year. Also, two network TV specials are planned. What makes celeb-friendly InStyle fly? One faithful reader (who pays for her copy) says, "It's like French Elle -- everything's in there, fashion, home, gossip, celebs."

Don't much like Guinness, don't really understand that commercial of everyone singing on a speeding train, but there's a lovely energy to it.

Big Vermont ski resort Killington and Fridge magazine hold the "urban-style snowboarding festival" Jan. 19-21. It's hip-hop on the slopes. Dick Durrance and I are saddle-soaping our long thongs. When I last spoke to Jann Wenner about a month ago, he was shaking his head and saying, "It's tough. But we're getting there," re his Us Weekly. Now I'm told it'll boost rate base to 850,000 from 800,000 Jan. 1. They claim to be selling an average 857,000 copies. Sellthrough is up to an average 35%. New advertisers include Palm and Nokia. Up categories: entertainment, health & beauty.

How do you ever replace Harry Evans? Well, last week Conde Nast Traveler threw a bash in N.Y. for Tom Wallace, 10 years in the job as editor in chief.

Health upped ad chief Jennifer Deans to associate publisher.

Mike DeBartolo of Fairchild Publications sends along the latest trade monthly, the oversized, glossy InFurniture at a newsstand price of 10 bucks an issue. Fairchild debuted the book at the High Point Furniture market. Lee Buchanan's editor, Rick Harrison publisher.

If you're a Ruth Draper groupie, there's a new two-CD set of seven of the great woman's monologues that's a Christmas must-buy. Ol' Ruth was from 1920 to 1956, when she died, the "undisputed queen of one-woman theater" in America. Journalist Susan Mulcahy produced the CDs after doing a terrific profile in Vanity Fair a year ago. Available at www.drapermonologues.com or by mail: Acme Content Co., 1714 E. Highland Drive, Seattle 98112.

Alternative weekly New York Press ran a grand front-pager about an Oscar Wilde contemporary named Dowson, who was even more dissolute. All hail, Oscar, Dowson, writer Monohan and Press Editor Russ Smith.

LastMinuteTravel.com named Derek Van Nostran director of marketing. He was at TMP Worldwide. At Premiere the new ad director is Neil L. Goldstein, ex-Modern Bride.

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