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Lunching with a couple of senior Hearst magazine execs at "21," I asked if Cathie Black has really hit the ground running as new Hearst mag chief. "The third day she was on the job she was in Detroit." I guess that answers it.

At Michael's restaurant on West 55th in Manhattan, former HBO topper Michael Fuchs lunching with Jeff Sagansky.

The MPA's new media committee named Bruce Judson of Time Inc. its chairman, succeeding Rick Smith of Newsweek. And Jeffrey Goodby and Richard Silverstein will chair the May 21 Kelly Awards at Chicago's Navy Pier.

Shelley Waln says Martha Stewart Living will again raise its rate base (second time in four months) by 8% to 1,650,000 effective September.

Ed Kelly says that the Travel & Leisure "guess where Kelly is" puzzler drew 200 entries.

Cathy Viscardi Johnston says Mademoiselle and MTV are sponsoring a big new "Brick" award for community service leadership. Details in the mag between now and September when there'll be a big fund-raiser. Or phone 1-900-737-BRICK. First prize? A cool 100 grand.

Bridge Works, the hardcover publishers in Bridgehampton, N.Y., owned and operated by Barbara & Warren Phillips (he's the former Dow Jones biggie), goes onward and upward. In this its fourth year, the small press will publish a half dozen novels, starting with Alan Isler's "Kraven Images."

Joe Higgins, ad director of Western Outdoors, the Costa Mesa, Calif., mag, reminds me that when they dropped all hunting coverage (28% of their ad pages) a year ago to narrow the focus, the wiseboys said they were committing suicide. Turns out, says Joe, boating and fishing tackle advertisers more than took up the slack so they closed '95 with 73 pages more than in the year previous. Up about 30%!

Don't mean to turn this into Martha Stewart week, but her daughter Alexis Stewart and partner Ben Krupinski (The New York Times once called Ben "contractor to the stars") have opened East Hampton Gym, right behind the Windmill Deli on Fithian Lane. You can see me there most mornings doing situps, working on the old abs.

The great Col. David Hackworth, who covers wars and other contact sports for Newsweek, is back in the States from his most recent Bosnia tour and is on Duck Key, near Marathon in the Florida Keys, writing "Hazardous Duty." It's being edited from his journals with the help of writer Tom Mathews. Hack's also feuding with White House biggie Anthony Lake about how our forces over there are or should be handling mines. His book will be out in November.

Two Chicago ad vets, writer Wendell Abern and art director Jarvis Fiedler teamed up on a new book, "Bridge Is a Contact Sport." It's published by Login Publishers Consortium and there's a book signing Feb. 25 at Crown Super Store in Skokie at which hundreds of bridge-players and other whackos are expected.

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