Group Publisher Mike Federle (72-year-old Fortune and its younger Fortune Small Biz are his responsibility) claimed over lunch that despite the slump, last year was 72-year-old Fortune's fourth-most-profitable year ever. This year first-quarter ad pages are 5% ahead with the auto category driving the bus. Their car ad pages year to year are up 71%. A record number of new launches are fueling the business, Federle contends. Other news: In November, Fortune hosts its annual Global Forum in Berlin with Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder singing willkommen. Despite our political differences? Mike says those differences are expected to make this particular forum a "don't miss." And will FSB weather the advertising storm? First-quarter ad biz is up 12%, says Mike.
Tom Florio of Vogue's not kvetching either. Tom tells me the current March issue with 448 ad pages is the second biggest March ever. Vogue closed its first quarter up 13% in ad pages. Better still, newsstand is booming, with second half 2002 sales up 13.5% on top of a 24% gain the previous six months, he says.
One week after they raised his jersey to the rafters at Madison Square Garden, Patrick Ewing, asked by the New York Post about his son's decision to attend U. of Indiana, said, "I don't interview about that." Asked for a quote about Jordan's final game at the Garden, Ewing said, "I'm not in the mood." Sullen to the end, he wonders why he's not popular.
Movieline, which launches a lifestyle mag called Hollywood Life in May, named Robert Priest creative director.
Progressive Farmer promoted Joe Link to exec editor.
Call me skeptical but I'm dubious about this purported "Bob Hope Museum" in New York. Hope turns 100 on May 20 and supposedly the "museum" will be on stream by then. Does Mr. Hope even know?
Sir Hardy Amies died in England at 93, a delightful chap who made clothes for the Queen, served in British military intelligence during the war, and was both a snob and wit. On a TV talk show here once, jousting on air with John Fairchild, Hardy inquired mildly at one point, "John, what's made you so cross, deah fellow?" He also fielded a theory as to why so many London dressmakers were recruited as "spies." "I suppose they expected German officers to fall in love with us."