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Here's what's going on at TV Guide according to Editor (for 31/2 years) Steve Reddicliffe and relatively new Publisher Dick Porter: Tonight the big Murdoch mag will unveil ("great viewing for the Monday after the Super Bowl!" declares Porter in his best huckster's voice) a new TV Guide Channel, which will, day and night for 168 hours a week, give you TV listings on the tube. Simultaneously they're launching a new Web site carrying similar info. The idea, says Dick, "whatever way you want to get your television guidance-in print, on screen or online, TV Guide will be there." All this will be announced during the mag's two-hour annual awards show on Fox TV starting at 8 p.m. As for the weekly itself, Steve says circ is 11.8 million, a figure they feel is healthy. Following an inconclusive market test years ago of a larger format, they're testing again, currently on newsstands in Baltimore and Detroit, and soon in K.C. and Chicago. Ad pages for the first five issues of the new year are up to 322 from 256 pages in the same '98 period. This seems to represent a significant turnaround from '98 when the ad page count was down about 7% compared with '97 (3,070 pages last year to 32,89 the year before). Porter, no shrinking violet, predicts: " '99 will be the best ad year in the history of TV Guide."

Lip-smacking good. That's the current issue of Gourmet, says Publisher Gina Sanders, largest February ever in the mag's 58 years, with 119 ad pages, up 18 from a year earlier.

Dick Weiner writes to report that in Tom Wolfe's huge new bestseller, "Nexis" and "Lexis" are frequently misspelled. Tom employs a "u" instead of an "i."

Next Monday night at Christie's on Park Ave. is the big annual cocktail and auction to benefit Literacy Partners. Honorary hosts are Liz Smith, Diane Sawyer, Bette Midler. For info & tix, 212-573-6933.

Editor & Publisher, reshaping itself, named Joe Strupp associate editor. He'd been with the Press-Enterprise in Riverside, Calif. And is incidentally (and happily) married to former Sports Illustrated marketer Claire Keating.

Tomorrow Kate White and Cosmo hold their "fun, fearless, female" awards lunch at the Waldorf. Top laureate? Shania Twain, Mark's kin.

I got two nifty pitch letters from Brill's Content, one addressed to me, the other to "James Brandy."

Lawrence K. Miller's the new Eastern ad director for Performing Arts Network, the California-based publisher of in-theater programs.

I see where Business Week and the Harris Poll find "top execs are nervous about the economy in '99." I got nervous two years ago and bailed out of the stock market. That's how smart I am.

There were the NBA brass and stars telling a press conference how "fan-friendly" the sport would now become after the labor settlement when WCBS-TV cams caught that twit Kenny Anderson on the sidewalk blowing off little kids:

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