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Here we were at The Four Seasons for lunch with white wine but Ruth Whitney and Mary Berner of Glamour magazine were contenting themselves with designer water and lemon. Is this New Age mumbo-jumbo or what? Ms. Whitney, editor of Glamour, issued no defense for being abstemious but Ms. Berner, the publisher, confessed she once handled the liquor category for Working Woman and at a lunch with the Carillon man, found herself drinking a mix of Absolut and Grand Marnier. She was 22 years old and decided, there and then, this might not be a great idea. Mary joined Glamour from TV Guide last November and says after a flat first half, their second half is projected to be about 10% ahead in ad pages over the '95 period. "The big rebound," Mary calls it. September, traditionally a big issue, will be 31 pages ahead (about 20%) this year. She credits a new marketing plan "that reflects the size and scope of our book. We're not an East book or a West book, we're coast to coast. We sell in the Midwest." Current rate base is 2 million and Ms. Berner says they're delivering a bonus of 200,000 to 400,000 depending on the issue. And she's talking about "huge, exclusive partnerships with department stores." Such as one with Federated Department Stores through their 416 stores and another, also exclusive, with the 800 or so Target Stores. "Why screw around?" says Mary. "It's a big book." Right now Ruth and a committee are collecting nominations for their annual December "woman of the year" issue, something they expect one day to be up there with Time's "man of the year." Angela Bassett, Alanis Morissette, Rosie O'Donnell? Oh, yes, if you wondered where Ms. Berner first went wrong (with bibulous sales lunches), blame Holy Cross where she was educated or her first sales job, at the Alston-Brighton Citizen Item newspaper, a hard-drinking crew if ever there was one, and where they spoiled her by paying 110 bucks a week.

Top ad man Jerry Della Femina ended up spending $66,000 in that losing race for a seat on the East Hampton Town Council. But got zillions in pub.

Whoever's doing the business pages of The New York Times these days is certainly sprucing up the layout and adding in-depth pieces, especially in media. Most recently, major takeouts on Rupert Murdoch, the Reader's Digest and Ed Kosner's Esquire.

Catch the eyes in that cover photo of John Travolta on the August issue of Premiere. Spooky.

WCBS-TV's Vince de Mentri goofed re a July 26 hi-jack, saying that was the anniversary date in 1953 when Castro overthrew the government. In '53 Fidel tried. And failed. He took over in January 1959.

Ellen Mullins Bollinger promoted to newly created post of VP-marketing for the Asbury Park (N.J.) Press and The Home News & Tribune of East Brunswick, both published by Jules L. Plangere III.

Conde Nast Traveler named Geraldine M. Rizzo director of marketing and creative services. She'd been with New Woman.

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