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A Mad Ave bigshot told me over lunch the Big 3 networks of today remind him of the Life, Look and Satevepost of a generation ago.

The bridal mag category is phenomenal. They're not a dozen pages ahead or four pages behind the year earlier. Susannah Pask of Bridal Guide, not the biggest book in the field, tells me ad pages for the first issue of the year are up from 254 pages in '98 to 370 this time, a gain of 116 pages! And the 1999 March/April issue will be their biggest revenue producer ever, up 56 pages over last year. The circulation picture: Bride's the leader at 456,000; Modern Bride at 406,000; Bridal Guide at 248,000. Susannah says part of Bridal Guide's success is a simple little secret. All the bridal books are every-other monthlies; hers comes out in the months that Bride's and Modern Bride don't. But don't buyers know the difference? "Not always," says Publisher Pask. Meanwhile, Bride's issued a 1,242 page issue weighing 41/2 pounds.

McCall's promoted Constance von Collande from art director to creative director.

Belated huzzahs to Lori Erdos and Jacki Brackensick, both newly anointed VPs of ad sales for USA Today.

John Miller's home group at Hachette Filipacchi added Monica Thomas and Jana Peretti in account manager slots.

Tom Klein joined Forbes Inc. as director of information technology. He'd been with Time Warner.

Computerworld in Framingham, Mass. promoted Sherry Driscoll to VP-associate publisher/East.

Credit Bravo cable for some marvelous TV bios. But, please, someone check the spelling! On recent shows Chanel was spelled "Channel" and poor Charles Aznavour was "Aznevour" throughout.

They're all excited (and rightly so!) at ESPN about reuniting Curt Gowdy, Jim McKay, Dick Schaap, Jack Whitaker for a look back at what they're calling the "SportsCentury." This one airs Jan. 22. Top guy John Walsh and producer Mark Shapiro are the driving force behind an 18-month nostalgia fete which began with daily vignettes in September.

More sport: Promoted at Women's Sport & Fitness (Conde Nast) are Lee Slattery to associate publisher and Susan Bornstein to marketing services director.

YM Publisher Alyce Alston tells me the Gruner & Jahr monthly was up 17% in ad pages over 1997 (which itself was 15% ahead of '96). Says Alyce, they're not only "outpacing the teen books but also the majority of all the beauty & fashion titles." Let's hear it for Alyce even if she does spell funny.

Is it 25 years? People will celebrate a quarter century of publication with a special double-issue on sale March 5. They'll up the rate base to 4.6 million for this one and keep it on sale two weeks. NBC's "Dateline" airs a tie-in special March 1.

Cato Institute, the Washington think tank, sends out a memo about Clinton in

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