Brady's Bunch

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"I have an exclusive for you," said Steve Forbes just as we sat down for lunch at the Forbes townhouse on Fifth Avenue with his brothers Tim and Kip, "I'm not running!" What has Steve more energized than politics these days is the family business. Flagship Forbes magazine closed 2002 with 3,504 ad pages, down 6.2% from the year before, but second only to People in pages for the year. Business Week came in with 3,333 pages, down 12%, and Fortune finished 2002 with 3,331 ad pages, down 17%. That means the Brothers Forbes won their fiercely contested category. That should be glad tidings for newly anointed president and publisher of the Forbes Magazine Group, Jim Berrien. Steve got off a couple of pretty good political lines. He thinks Gephardt is the Dem frontrunner. He says his flat tax proposal always gets more popular this time of year with April 15 looming; and when asked about how serious a pol Hillary is, he cracked: "Must be serious; she spent a year upstate."

Luck? Or talent? Sandy Golinkin's Lucky closed March with 161 ad pages versus 69 last year. New advertisers running in the relatively new book, Saks Fifth Avenue, Dior, Adidas, Rums of Puerto Rico. Ole.

Cosmo officially names Sandra Bullock its "fun fearless female" of the year tomorrow at Cipriani, their annual lunch hosted by Publisher Donna Lagani and Editor Very Much in Chief Kate White.

Debut issue of Teen Vogue arrived from Gina Sanders. Slick & peppy, 200 total pages.

Kevin White's the new associate publisher for Real Simple; he had been ad director.

The James Beard Foundation chose Tina Ujlaki of Food & Wine, editor of the year for 2002.

Organic Style (Rodale) has a new features editor, Lygeia Grace. Amazing!

Radio commercial promises "a ridiculously low price" on a 50-inch plasma TV: $4,950.

The Murdoch organization could syndicate New York Post columnist Phil Mushnick. Not a big city sports section in the country can do better than Phil's latest on high schooler LeBron James.

The next time Congress votes on a few more foreign aid billions for our dear friends, the Egyptians, I hope they recall those shuttle disaster quotes from the proverbial Cairo "man on the street." "Good, another Israeli dog dies, American dogs as well."

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