People's former president was into his fourth day at the new job and Peter Bauer was telling me over lunch at the Four Seasons about this stunning Time Inc. plan to revive Life as a weekend newspaper insert, challenging powerhouse Advance Publications' Parade and Gannett's USA Weekend. "They told me about the job a week and a half ago and I have no illusions about the problems. Launching a magazine is a challenging and galvanizing experience," said the 18-year Time veteran and new Life publisher. "It will be a Friday magazine all about celebrating the weekend. And service stories about how to get the most out of each weekend. There's considerable equity still in Life, and photography is going to be very important." The familiar red & white Life logo was top left on the dummy I saw. They're aiming at an Oct. 1 launch, shooting for an initial circ of 10 to 12 million, will focus on the top 25 markets, plan to have a five-person ad staff in New York and dedicated people in L.A., Detroit and Chicago. At the moment the new Life has four employees, Bauer, President Andy Blau, Bill Shapiro, who had edited Time Inc. Custom Publishing, and a key exec, the newspaper relations guy. Blau has been in from the start, Norm Pearlstine and John Huey are "very excited" about the project, and some big chains have been signed (Peter won't name them but previous reports mentioned Knight Ridder and Tribune Co. papers). Bauer's never worked on a newspaper and has never launched a publication but says when he told People Editor Martha Nelson about his job, "she had a wistful look in her eyes." His boys, 10 and 6, say they'll miss People. "I told the kids, this magazine is going to be cool." If Bauer's right, he's going to be a Time Inc. hero or if he's wrong, it's TV Cable Week all over again.
Clever invitation to cocktails at his Manhattan home from Kevin Roberts, CEO Worldwide, Saatchi & Saatchi, to celebrate the Lovemarks' operation. Fashion designer Mary Quant flew in to be honored. The invitation? A white tablecloth covered with creative doodlings, a ring and some droplets from a glass of red wine. "Lovemarks began over a bottle of Bordeaux in a restaurant," Roberts goes on to explain. And, "unlike a lot of things that start that way...didn't end when the restaurant closed."
People en Espanol's "Fifty Most Beautiful" gala is May 19 not 17. And at Parents.com, Diane Dragan joins as executive producer, not exec ed at Parents (AA, April 19).