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As he does every year, Ralph Lauren doesn't send Christmas gifts but contributes cash to the Nina Hyde Center for Breast Cancer Research at Georgetown U. Nina, a pal of Ralph's, was longtime fashion ed of The Washington Post and died of breast cancer.

This was over lunch at Michael's on West 55th in Manhattan and Bonnie Fuller and Donna Kalajian were talking about how well their magazine, Cosmopolitan, was doing ("most profitable year in our history"), and I asked but wasn't Glamour doing well too, with ad pages way up, and Donna said, "We're slaughtering them on the newsstands." Some days later in this column I quoted Mary Berner as saying for the first time in her memory, Glamour ran more ad pages than Cosmo. And The Wall Street Journal got into the act with a piece about business at the big magazine companies, Conde Nast, Time Inc. and Hearst. So just before Christmas I called Publisher Kalajian to get her take on the figures. "Look," Donna said, "let's not turn this into me vs. Mary." Why not? I inquired pleasantly. "OK," repeated Donna, "we're slaughtering them on newsstand." Figures, please. With a rate base of 2.25 million, Cosmo did 2.3 million on newsstand alone with its August issue. And since the March issue, Bonnie Fuller's first as editor, newsstand has been up 13%. "A hot book," is how people are again characterizing Cosmopolitan. Meanwhile, Donna said ABC has her mag charging $19.47 for a year's sub and Glamour $12.60. But wait, there's more, says Ms. Kalajian. About 200 of Ms. Berner's ad pages were advertorial in nature while Cosmo sells no advertorials. "So if Glamour wanted to win the PIB game, which clearly they did," Donna says, "they certainly used the only strategy available. . .90% discounted pages." Wow! I'm sure glad we didn't turn this into "me vs. Mary."

Sports press agent Joe Goldstein tells me "I'm the only PR guy profiled in Sports Illustrated who's now representing both ESPN and their new ESPN Magazine." I'm probably going to have to ask Donna Kalajian about that.

A new "Cars" columnist for Men's Journal. She's Jean Jennings who continues as deputy editor of Automobile.

Patrick Henry Creative Promotions of Stafford, Texas, celebrated its 10th anniversary as a marketing/promotions shop for the food & beverage biz.

Good Housekeeping promoted Diane J. Salvatore to exec editor, and Bernadette Haley joined as associate publisher.

How's Martha doing on her own? Not too shabby. Martha Stewart Living ad pages for '97 were 42% ahead of the year before while revenues climbed 71%, to $111 million. Circ is also way ahead, up from 1.8 million in mid-1996 to 2.3 million as of June 30.

Get Richard Whittingham's (brother of Time Inc.'s Chuck) gripping "Martial Justice," published by Naval Institute Press, all about "the last mass execution in the U.S." of seven young German POWs hanged for murdering a shipmate who helped American interrogators.

Men's Health's Sean Flanagan says '97 ad pages rose from 765 to 850, its ninth straight year of double-digit growth.

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