Brady's Bunch

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New York Gov. Pataki, a Yalie, didn't know who The New Yorker's legendary E.B. White was. Do they serve dumb pills at New Haven?

The big fund-raising gala for New York's (and the country's) most-listened-to public radio station, WNYC. Calvin Trillin, Peter Jennings and others will salute Mr. & Mrs. Sanford "Sandy" Weill and Sarah Jessica Parker Nov. 2 at Cipriani on East 42nd St.

Big promotion at American Express Publishing for key editor, Nancy Novogrod, who becomes senior VP-editorial director. She'll continue to edit Travel & Leisure, which recently promoted Alyssa Keleshian to marketing director.

Hearst Corp.'s (and Glenda Bailey's) Marie Claire, one of the unexpected hits, claims its August issue sold more than a million copies. It'll boost the rate base in February to 825,000.

With Venezuelan Prez Chavez urging fellow OPEC states to "put the squeeze" on the U.S. with oil production cuts and still higher prices, mightn't we sort of review our foreign aid to Venezuela? You know, "squeeze" the bastards?

The Creative Coalition Nov. 13 honors Richard Robinson of Scholastic Inc. and Walter Cronkite, among others, at the Manhattan Center. Co-chairs are the Coalition's William Baldwin, Kenneth and Maria Cuomo Cole, Nancy Evans of iVillage.com.

WOR's Joan Hamburg is having an interesting autumn. Her son John co-wrote hit flick "Meet the Parents," husband Mort published his latest book of photos, and Joan, in addition to her own daily two-hour show, is now a regular on the N.Y. radio station's morning drive show.

Robert Felsenthal says early returns on BtoB, the Crain Communications every-other-weekly (and Ad Age sibling) formerly called Business Marketing, are strong. The revamp launched in March shows ad pages up 127% over comparable issues the year before. It will up rate base to 65,000 in January.

New chief info officer for Primedia is Damien Creavin. Sounds like PR but ain't. He'll actually oversee & build their tech infrastructure.

In Newport, Sailing Co. (Miller Sports Group) named Jeff Roy to head itsdot.coms.

Corky Pollan, who began at New York in 1980, is the new style director of Gourmet. Publisher Gina Sanders tells me this month the rate base goes from 850,000 to 900,000. YTD, Gourmet ad pages are 6% ahead.

Fortune's worldwide circ zooms to one million in January. North American-only rate base upped from 810,000 to 830,000. All hail John Huey.

Peter Sealey (longtime Coca-Cola Co. marketing chief) and brand strategy guru Steven M. Cristol, have a new book, "Simplicity Marketing," published last week by The Free Press. I've heard Sealey at a Fortune seminar in Palm Springs, Calif. Impressive guy. He and Cristol say they're out to "end brand complexity, clutter, confusion." Do that and the Nobel Prize is theirs.

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