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There used to be a copy desk at The New York Times. I'm sure there was. In the paper's Sunday magazine Elizabeth Kolbert wrote a major piece about political pollster Frank Luntz, stressing how polite a young man he is, "always referring" to his clients as "sir." Doesn't writer Kolbert mean "addressing" his clients as "sir"? Otherwise we have the bizarre situation of young Luntz sucking up to pols, thus: "Sir says the bill will pass .... Sir issues no comment.... Sir will make a statement on that later." Or was it Elizabeth Kolbert doesn't know the difference between "referring" to someone and "addressing" them?

Country Weekly magazine named Katherine O. Jose' senior VP-publisher. Ms. Jose' has been ad director since launch exactly a year ago.

Stefanie Miller was promoted to manager of corporate communications at Wells Rich Greene BDDP.

Tonight (April 17) CNBC and NBC Cable Ad Sales host a live telecast of "Talk Back America" in the NBC studios at 30 Rock in Manhattan, for an audience of advertisers and media. Starring will be Phil Donahue, Roger Ailes, Dick Cavett, Geraldo, Mary Matalin, Al Roker, Tim Russert and like that.

At Ladies' Home Journal, the eastern sales manager, Mindy Picon, takes on the additional chore of national sales manager for special interest pubs, a relatively new growth area.

Maggie Staats Simmons at Travel Holiday is beefing up the editorial staff, bringing in as exec editor Denise Martin from SmartMoney, Lorraine Glennon as features editor and Cindi Crain as co-manager of Travel Holiday Online.

Chanel in New York named Meg Gallagher assistant marketing manager for women's fragrance. She was at Lancome. And Denise Parpard becomes coordinator of Chanel sales promotion.

Lynn Staley of the Boston Globe now joins Newsweek as director of design.

In Style, the new and apparently hot spinoff from People, hired Hal Rubenstein as editor-at-large. Hal earlier created Egg magazine for Forbes (alas, it got scrambled) and more recently has been men's style editor for the Sunday mag of The New York Times.

David May, who's worked in top posts for Grey and other agencies and for Lancaster Group, Bijan and Estee Lauder, becomes associate publisher of Town & Country where they expect he'll be bringing in some sweet-smelling business.

John Rollins, publisher of Vibe magazine, is preening, and rightly so, with two nominations for National Magazine Awards for general excellence. Even better, they're boosting their rate base from 250,000 to 275,000.

Cigar Aficionado mag and the Ritz-Carlton Hotels jointly host an international cigar-tasting and blacktie banquet Wednesday evening at Ritz-Carlton hotels in this country and abroad (in Hong Kong, Sydney and Seoul, due to time differences, the bash is Thursday).

The Beacon Journal of Akron introduced two major new sections: "Designs," for home and garden, and "Essentials," a health and family guide. Dale Allen's editor of the Knight-Ridder daily.

Big editorial shifts at New York Newsday where Richard Gallant becomes managing editor, Deborah Hanley metro editor and Kate Phillips the city editor. All report to Don Forst.

Margaret Mazzaroco joined Women's Wear Daily 47 years ago when she was 18. When she retired the other day editors and colleagues hosted a lunch and presented Margie with a Tiffany dish. Fine professional, delightful lady.

During lunch at the Grill Room of the Four Seasons restaurant in Manhattan the other day the cast included Anna Wintour of Vogue, former Mayor David Dinkins, Mort Zuckerman with John Veronis, John Loeb Jr., Paul Volcker and Congressman Charles Schumer, who went from table to table shaking hands, missing only a busboy. They say he's already running for governor in 1998. I can believe it.

Holly Pyle is the new Dallas account exec for Texas Monthly.

Top New York PR woman Nancy Friedman and husband Jim (he's in the FBI) had their first baby, Emily Rose, nearly 8 pounds.

Sunset appointed Tory Abel its Seattle sales manager. She was with Car & Driver and previously had her own rep firm.

Four Corners Communications, the NY PR outfit, celebrates its fifth anniversary May 8 at Metronome at Broadway and East 21st Street. Drew Reid Kerr's shop represents lots of Hearst magazines, USA Weekend, Modern Bride and so on.

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