Big gainer: Fine BRADY'S BUNCH

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Gary Stevens, writing of the old days of broadcasting in On The Air, the publication of the Broadcasters' Foundation, recalls Leonard Maltin told this story of Jack Benny. It was 1948 and Benny, then a big broadcast star, turned down Walter Winchell's pitch for on-air support of Winchell's pet cause, the Damon Runyon Cancer Fund. Benny sent a wire to the irate (and still potent) columnist promising to help the fund. But not over the air. "I am sponsored by a cigarette company and we are not permitted at any time to mention the word cancer. Please keep this confidential for my sake."

Tom Losee is back in action as "consulting publisher" to Florida International Magazine. Tom was publisher of, at various times, Harper's Bazaar and Architectural Digest.

Women's City Club of N.Y. salutes Myrna Blyth of Ladies' Home Journal May 7 at a gala dinner at the St. Regis Hotel in Manhattan. Also being hailed, Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel.

Weather Channel named Bahnson Stanley senior VP-local and digital products. He'd been GM of Travel Channel.

Pace University on May 21 bestows an honorary doctorate on David J. Pecker, CEO of Hachette. He's an alum.

Former ad manager at Mademoiselle Elizabeth Nann was promoted to ad director of Bride's. Also upped at the latter book, Heidi Silverstein to director-creative & marketing services.

Travel & Leisure Golf hired Steve McDonald as N.Y. sales manager. He was an account manager for Sports Illustrated.

The itsy bitsy Entertainment Co. (love the name!) named David T. Levine manager of business & legal affairs.

Tribune Co. topper John W. Madigan was in N.Y. from Chicago the other evening at the University Club talking to a small media/business dinner audience of Manhattan College alums about his company's transformation into a multimedia giant. A number of key Tribune execs are graduates of the small Catholic school in Riverdale.

Bob Guccione Jr.'s been meeting with major ad shops and clients talking about his next project, Gear magazine. Launch date is August 4.

Marie Claire says their January issue guest-edited by Gwyneth Paltrow sold 414,000 newsstand copies vs. 294,000 a year earlier.

Richard Weiner sends me a New York Times clip that while he "supported the war in Vietnam," Kenneth W. Starr did not serve because he had "chronic psoriasis." Sometimes you wonder if anyone in public life went to the damned war!

Wow! Talk about ad numbers! Bride's publisher Deborah Fine says year to date they're up from 1,683 pages last year to 1,948 this time, a gain of 265 pages.

Hearst's John Mack Carter is raising dough for the home care program at N.Y.'s Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Ten bucks only; no more, please! says John. Checks to the Home Care Program/MSKCC, Box 421, 1275 York Ave., N.Y. 10021.

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