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Any minute now NBC will name Bryant Gumbel's successor on the "Today Show." "We all assume it'll be Matt [Lauer]" says a pal over there, "but who knows."

God is good. The New York Times reports "they're drinking martinis and smoking cigars" around town. Next, the Times will be discovering sex.

To anchor Eric Scott of allnews radio WCBS-AM in NY: there's no "n" in the word "restaurateur."

Jann Wenner gave a little lunch at the office for Tom Wolfe, whose latest appears in Rolling Stone.

Barbara Hertz Friedmann named to the new post of VP-franchise development for the Parenting Group (Parenting and related mags). She'd been marketing director. Their Parenting Baby Talk, redesigned under new editor Trisha Thompson, just put out its biggest issue ever (52 ad pages in November).

Tim Reis reports that his dad, Donald Haynes Reis, died in Pinehurst, N.C., last month at age 71. Don was a great fellow who worked in space sales and management for everyone from The Long Island Star-Journal to Look to Psychology Today. He was a golf nut (ergo, Pinehurst) and once asked that his obit run in the Brooklyn Eagle where his own dad, Frank, was ad director but which, alas, went out of business decades before Don did.

Ely Callaway, also a gent who knows his way around a course, spent a few days in Manhattan recently (at the St. Regis) and now sends along from Carlsbad, Calif., the latest Callaway Golf Co. financial report. For the latest six-month period, sales rose from $274 million to $345 million and profits were up from $27 million the year before to $38 million this time.

Men's Health has a new Northwest sales manager, Jay Monaghan (the "g" is silent and he works out of San Francisco).

Sue Agresta, with 25 years in the biz (media promotion & marketing), set up her own firm, called (delightfully) "Rain," in Huntington Station, Long Island. Sue was with USA Weekend, Fortune, The New Yorker and like that.

Eugene B. Cofsky of Ted.Lor Inc. in Tarzana, Calif., and Dr. Virginia Miles in Englewood, N.J., write to inquire why don't I just do a "Mr. Moto" and walk right into that joint on Second Ave. and ask what in hell is going on.

Entertainment Weekly's newest ad sales whiz is Devon McAllister. She's been at Vanity Fair the last four years.

Did you see where longtime top editor at Fortune Marshall Loeb was named to head Columbia U.'s "J" School? Henry Grunwald wrote once of Marshall he was certain if he asked Loeb to produce a 10-page history of the world in Fortune on closing night, Marshall would nod, mutter "sure, sure, sure" and go to work.

Deft move by Cathie Black at Hearst Magazines in sliding Alan Waxenberg into the publisher's chair at Victoria magazine after all those years helming Good House. Gives both mags a freshness at the top and Waxy a different sort of challenge.

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