Brady's Bunch

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Ten years ago clever-in-chief John Mack Carter cut a deal with the French and brought Marie Claire to America. Now, over lunch with Editor Lesley Jane Seymour and Publisher Katherine Rizzuto (yes, she's a cousin of the Scooter), I got a progress report and heard how they'll be celebrating their 10th anniversary. First, a classy, sassy new ad campaign, "Marie Claire has spoken," they'll boost the rate base to 925,000 in February, Tom Cruise is their first-ever male cover, 65% of circ is newsstand, median age is 29 and household income "very high." Ad sales this year were only so-so; they're bullish on 2004. Lesley says "it's a crazy magazine." They raised a quarter of a million bucks for Save the Children, generated terrific reaction to a story on baby rape in South Africa, sent out a cover girl clothed only in strategically applied body paint, and, Hallelujah! they run their contents page upfront on page 3. Lesley is a Duke grad, worked at WWD, Vogue, Bazaar, Redbook and was in on the launch of YM. She has two kids, Katherine has three. And was flying off to Milan to sell some ads that very afternoon

Hearst Corp.'s Cathy Black and husband Tom Harvey traditionally throw the first Manhattan Christmas party, Nov. 24 this year. On display at their Park Ave. digs: Gay Talese, Deborah Norville, Dick Stolley, Jeff Greenfield, Joan Pataki, George Stephanopoulos, Bob Tisch, Meredith Brokaw, Helen Gurley and David Brown, Steve Brill, Michael Clinton, John Veronis and lots of Hearst stars. Fred Graham of Court TV predicts no cameras at the Michael Jackson trial. "Every judge in California has Ito-phobia," says Fred.

Ralph Monti of Special Interest Media has a new book out, "The Creative Sales Person," all about how to teach 'em to think-and sell-creatively.

Flying (Hachette Filipacchi) reminds us Dec. 17 will be 100 years since the Wright brothers flew at Kitty Hawk. If you're a buff, get December's issue. Wonderful stuff including a piece by West Coast Editor Lane Wallace who gave up a big job in corporate marketing to learn to fly. And write about it.

Prohibition ended 70 years ago (Dec. 5, 1933 at 5:32 P.M.). They celebrated Friday at Bill's on East 54th with jazz by Vince Giordano and the Prohibition Four and remarks by Pete Hamill. Odd choice. Pete went on the wagon years ago. I mean, they could have asked me.

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