The Buzz

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Richard "mad Dog" Beckman takes over as chief marketing officer of Conde Nast, as Peter King Hunsinger leaves. That was Tuesday. Late week chatter had Pete possibly back in the building wedded to bridal titles. Inside money's on Talk Media prez Ron Galotti filling GQ publisher slot by Feb. 5. But, Si(gh), who knows?

The latest on Sports Illustrated`s next managing editor: Us Weekly`s Terry McDonell is looking-and acting in private- like the odds-on favorite. (He didn't return calls.) Esquire's David Granger is the choice of those longing for a literary sports mag. (Granger: "SI's a great franchise, but I already have one .") SI alum Roy Johnson, editor-in-chief of Savoy, is also in the mix. ("I'm flattered to be considered," he said.) And Men's Health's David Zinczenko rattled off enough sports cliches to inflict a groin pull . But if SI wants to get hotter and hipper, why not Tina Brown? Alas, she declined comment.

When Viacom and CBS announced their merger, Mel Karmazin asked CEO Sumner Redstone for an office next door. "We'll see," Redstone said. Now, talk is Redstone wants Mel-whose Charmazin ways helped convince Sumner to merge-to get the hell out. Redstone reportedly told the company board that Mel's contract wouldn't be re-upped in 2003; Mel's aggressive side seems to be ruffling feathers. Karmazin is vowing to fight on. (Viacom denied the friction.) Maybe Viacom's most interesting brawl won't be from the WWF.

contributing: jon fine

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