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K-III consumer mag prez Janice Grossman once remarked that if they ever got Seventeen magazine circulation to top two million, she could go peacefully. Back then (about five years ago) circ was at 1.75 million. Now it's 2.2 million and Seventeen closes the first half up 6.9% in advertising pages over the period a year ago to 554 pages. When last seen at lunch in the Four Seasons, Ms. Grossman hadn't gone yet.

There's hope for all of us. In San Francisco, Herb Caen just got married again.

Forbes, which is accustomed to big issues, carried 252 ad pages in its April 22 annual directory of American companies, up 20% over the same issue a year ago. As for listing the top firms, the mag rates as one through five, GE, GM, Exxon, Ford Motor and IBM.

The daily New York Post quietly going up-market? The advertisers seem to be saying so with pricey jeweler Judith Leiber of Madison Ave. buying half-page ads (the work of Peter Rogers) adjacent to the Liz Smith column, and Conde Nast, Revlon and others asking to look at the rate card.

Let me get this straight. Twelve years ago Washington broke up the phone company to end monopoly and foster competition. Now the phone companies are putting themselves back together again? Did I miss something?

Albert Belle of the Cleveland Indians threw a baseball at a Sports Illustrated photographer and hurt the guy. The team apologizes. Albert doesn't. At some point doesn't someone call the cops?

Arnold Huberman tells me his exec search & management firm in Manhattan now has its own Web site to help out in the job placement process. Interested? Too long for this column but call Arnie at 212-545-9033.

Gloria Steinem et al. trying to raise dough to reclaim Ms. magazine from Dale Lang?

Lincoln U. in Missouri gave a Unity Award to USA Weekend for its cover story and survey on teens and prejudice.

Bob Grant is a pig but Disney caved.

Time Inc. wondering about future of Health magazine?

This is the first day on the job in Menlo Park, California, for Sunset magazine's new editor in chief, Rosalie Muller Wright, who had been assistant ME at the San Francisco Chronicle. Steve Seabolt of Sunset Publishing chortles, "Getting her was quite a feat."

In case you hadn't noticed, this is "Official New York Television Day." The Mayor and TV Guide (which helped organize) say so. At Laura Belle (that's a neat nightspot) there's a party honoring Marv Albert, Susan Lucci, Jane Pauley, Sesame Street, Regis Philbin, Dick Wolf and like that.

Group Publisher Jim McEwen of Gruner & Jahr writes, "Family Circle and McCall's magazines are both up in ad pages for the first half," the former 4 per cent ahead of the '95 period, the latter up 2 per cent.

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