Brady's Bunch

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Magazine company to watch? Rodale, where CEO Steve Murphy is the first non-family member to hold top job. They've got some powerhouses, Prevention, Men's Health, and Murphy, who'd run Disney Publishing and was previously president of EMI/Angel Records and prez of Simon & Schuster's Prentice Hall division, is intent on taking Rodale to the next level. Over lunch the enthusiastic Steve said when he began as chief operating officer two years ago, they had "39 P & Ls" so you know there was work to be done-also $40 million in cost cuts. Meanwhile, Men's Health under new leadership is forging ahead and (future chairman) Maria Rodale's pet project, Organic Style, just boosted rate base to half a million. Since we all know that in a family biz, you've got to get along with the family, I asked Steve how that was working out. "Before I took the job I asked for one more dinner (meeting) with Maria. We discussed everything. We're on the same track for the company." And in the Pennsylvania countryside near Emmaus, Murphy, his wife and two kids, can ride their Galway-bred (by Willie Leahy) horses. Only regret? He misses the music biz and its oddball characters.

Another NBA All-Star indicted? I'm shocked.

This country has no monopoly on dopes. A History Channel survey of what Brits consider the most important event of the last century had Princess Di No. 1, World War II in second place.

Smith & Wollensky, the Manhattan steakhouse and media hangout, marks 25 years in biz Oct. 13.

Feisty Publisher Katherine Rizzuto says October ad pages are up 15% over last year's ("our most ad pages ever") and she claims, "Marie Claire has now overtaken Elle and Glamour in pages YTD."

Edy's ice cream tractor-trailer brandishes this sign: "Warning, Driver does not carry spoons."

Joe Drape's back for another season as lead college football writer for The New York Times. He's a dandy.

MSNBC named Susan Sullivan its news director. She most recently was VP-news director of Murdoch's Channel 5 in New York. A lawyer, she made her news debut at WCBS-TV.

Oops, correcting item in Sept. 9 column, Food & Wine's paid circ was up 5.5% to 957,838 in first half of 2002 over same ABC period in 2001. Ad pages through August were up 2% to 718.6.

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