Brady's Bunch

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Hearst chief Frank Bennack has reportedly assigned veteran publishing exec Gil Maurer an intriguing task: explore the possibilities of creating a new Manhattan skyscraper to tower over the familiar old, sandstone Hearst building at the corner of 8th Avenue and 57th Street. Architects are said to be at work on the design while legal, zoning and construction rules and regulations applying to air rights are being studied. Due to current structure's landmark status, they can't make substantial changes in the existing building, but the area above it is something else again. If and when they come up with the right design and win a city OK, the tower would eventually house most if not all the Hearst properties now scattered around town in a number of office buildings. Maurer, a classy sort of fellow fascinated by design wed to function, is said to be enthusiastically forging ahead.

The male voice on a radio commercial for Broadway.com cited current New York stage hits, including the Elton John musical "Aida," pronouncing it with two syllables, as in "Aid-ah."

All in the family: for a dozen years or so, Dick Schaap has been hosting the "Sports Reporters" show over ESPN. Now son Jeremy Schaap, 30, will host "Classic Sports Reporters," also ESPN, a show featuring Jack Whitaker, Curt Gowdy, Jim McKay and like that.

Southern Accents in Birmingham promoted David Vaughan to director of home projects.

Playboy has a new East Coast PR person, Alison "Lulu" Raleigh. They unveiled her (so to speak) last week at Judson Grill in Manhattan. Longtime PR whiz Diane Stefani left to join Ziff-Davis' Yahoo! Internet Life and sister mag, eshopper, as PR director.

Erica Springer joined Parade as an ad sales rep in L.A.

I got the date wrong for that big Met Home bash at the Four Seasons. It was May 24. Sorry.

Oh, come now. We all know what a smashing job Graydon Carter's doing at Vanity Fair. But do we need an officious note from Beth Kseniak accompanying a new photo of the editor with this caveat: "Please note that with each use, the photo credit should read: Copyright Annie Leibovitz/Exclusively for Vanity Fair. Please discard any out-of-date photos."

Upside, a San Francisco-based magazine that covers the biz of technology, raised its rate base to 250,000 and expects to go to 300,000 before the year is out.

New group publisher for the skateboarding and snowboarding books of TransWorld Media (Oceanside, Calif.) is Tim Wrisley.

Cosmetic Executive Women honored the lifetime achievements of the great Estee Lauder over dinner at the Waldorf and saluted Managing Editor Martha Nelson of InStyle.

Sonia David's new marketing director at USA Weekend; also, Charlie Williams is the new Western region newspaper relations director.

Good House promoted Gary Martin to associate publisher-sales.

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