On the day that Jann Wenner promoted Janice Min to fill Bonnie Fuller's Manolo Blahniks, Editor Min and her publisher and I had lunch at Michael's in Manhattan. Janice, very composed and cool in a sleeveless cream-colored linen sheath, is bright as hell (could she have survived Bonnie otherwise?), hardly the interim pope some had expected. She's got a very solid background (nine years at People plus other jobs) and was for the 16 months of Bonnie's reign the No. 2, and since her stunning departure, acting editor. With both circulation and ad pages up, and according to Janice a workable formula in place, Publisher Vickie Lasdon Rose (and obviously Mr. Wenner) think Min (her family roots are Korean) can pull it off. No checkbook journalism, she pledges, that's a no-no, she thinks her Columbia J School degree was "a waste of time," she hears (this was before its release) the new Jennifer Lopez flick will "tank." Surprising to me, although Us hits the stands in N.Y. and L.A. on Wednesdays, as late as Monday they're still mulling and debating what the cover will be, bringing in not only Us staffers but folks from Rolling Stone and other Wenner properties,even a few advertisers and agency people, to contribute their expertise. Interesting way to do business.
Lou Cona tells me Vanity Fair's September (its 20th anniversary) with 324 ad pages, is the biggest issue ever. And it's up 14% over last September. It hits the stands Wednesday. Now, if I could only find the index.
People en Espanol up 20% YTD in ad pages, 27% in bucks.
Is Don Welsh the smartest guy in the mag biz or does it just seem that way.? His latest crazy (and also brilliant) idea, Budget Living, is only seven months old and breaking even. They'll increase frequency (six to 10 issues) next year when three rate increases are planned (the rate base already went from 300,000 to 400,000). They cut a deal with Penguin for Budget Living Books. They're working with Giraffe and a TV syndicator to produce a daily one-hour show. And they sold 298 ad pages in their first five issues. Hard work? Says salesman Don, "this last year feels like 10 years." But he's started to mull his next creation.
Business Week unveils a cover-to-cover redesign Sept. 25 at the Guggenheim Museum.
Forget "the Curse of the Bambino." The Yankees now have their own, "Curse of the Benitez!"