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Crisp, decisive crackdown by the National Basketball Association! The New York Times reported up to two-thirds of all NBA basketball players smoke grass. So the League immediately fined one team, the Timberwolves, $37,000. For letting the guys wear their shorts too long.

Ray Dreyfus is the new business development VP for Hachette Filipacchi Magazines.

Fitness (Gruner & Jahr) promoted Randy Frank Leeds to ad manager. He was at McCall's.

The Weather Channel recruited a new senior VP-programming/production. He is Terry O'Reilly who'd been a VP of a London-based subsidiary of ABC.

TV Guide has a new senior critic, Matt Roush. The 38-year-old reviewer comes over from the top job at USA Today.

Child Care Action Campaign, whose fund raising this year was headed by Hearst's Cathie Black and by Dick Stolley, reports their evening at Sotheby's fetched a record $430,000.

Todd Haskell is the newly anointed GM for Ladies' Home Journal. He'd been working with Myrna Blyth and Michael Brownstein of the monthly on various assignments. Now goes fulltime.

I love her tennis, but I wouldn't cross that Mary Pierce, would you?

Saks Fifth Avenue and Oxxford Clothes sponsor tomorrow's Waldorf Astoria dinner for the United Negro College Fund and its salute to the great Jessye Norman.

Norman Waterman writes, "It's been one hell of a ride." Norman joined Vogue early in '84 and is now closing out his stint as associate publisher. Previously he headed his own agency, Waterman Advertising.

Big year for Sesame Street Parents mag. Nina Link says it closed the year with 472 ad pages, up nearly 10% over the 1996 page count.

Bill Pike's the new exec editor of Power & Motoryacht magazine. If I trade up from my Old Town canoe, Bill can expect me to buy a sub.

On Wednesday at the Rainbow Room in Manhattan Working Mother mag salutes some of the best of them. Patricia French of Gazelle Cosmetics is the speaker.

Worth magazine sent me what I've always needed, a cactus. They're promoting their February "invest in the west" issue.

Michael's, the West 55th Street restaurant in New York, gets a big media crowd these days. For lunch, at separate tables, former CBS topper Gene Jankowski, Kevin Buckley of Playboy, Sally Richardson of St. Martin's Press. Superagent Sam Cohn of ICM wasn't at his usual table and an all points bulletin has gone out.

Snow Country, the New York Times Co. mag, fat and sassy with 235 total pages plus lots of unnumbered inserts. But then, if the December issue doesn't sell, what will? Great pix, too, of skiing at the very roof of the French Alps.

Best holiday lobby decorations so far? The Daily News building in Manhattan. Best early season party? Cathie Black's. Best party invite? Art Cooper's for GQ

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