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In Washington, D.C., Blackie's House of Beef steak house notes on its menu that the establishment serves no Coca-Cola products. Anyone know the story behind this?

They'll salute Don Hewitt of "60 Minutes" and John Birt of the BBC during an international Emmys Awards gala at the New York Hilton Nov. 20. The awards celebrate excellence in TV, which is what Hewitt is all about.

Cain Associates, a New York fashion advertising & marketing agency, named Leslie Silverman its new business director. She'd been at Conde Nast Traveler.

At the Four Seasons in Manhattan, that extraordinary editor Michael Korda lunching with Tricia Nixon and David Eisenhower. New book deal?

Jimmy Buffett, with a new album ("Barometer Soup") out, huddled with marketing suits at the Weather Channel on a possible promotional arrangement.

InStyle mag hired a new senior account manager for New England, Chris Agostinelli, formerly at Good House.

Why would any sensible American woman want to attend this world conference on women in Beijing, China? Or Hillary Clinton even think of heading the U.S. delegation? As far as China is concerned they did their bit for women's rights when they stopped binding their feet.

New director of corporate marketing at Time Inc. He's James J. Donoghue who'd most recently been associate publisher of People.

Jack Hyde, professor at Fashion Institute of Technology, writes to remind me the original British trenchcoat was sewn up by Burberrys in 1906 and then, during the First War, had its skirts shortened and epaulets and "D" rings added.

Country Living (Hearst) promoted Nancy Mernit Soriano to exec editor succeeding Nina Williams, who is moving to Colorado.

The Friars Club used to roast talent. Oct. 6 in New York they'll salute their showbiz person of the year, Steven Seagal. Poor Uncle Miltie is being called upon to do the honors.

Cliff Tallman, publisher of both books, says business is up for the first half at Cruising World and Sailing World. The first is up 4% in ad pages, the latter 7% over 1994.

From William Flanagan of Forbes magazine, an alternative to "revisionism," "air-brushing history." Not bad; I may steal it.

Dining at the Jockey Club with chums in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Washington, Pierre Salinger.

Big doings in Manhattan tomorrow (22) evening at the Harley-Davidson Cafe when Pocket Books hosts a book party for Joan Brady's new hardcover, "God on a Harley." No, she's not a relative and, "if you're riding your Harley, call ahead for valet parking."

Talk about cyberspace, wow! Information Week, which claims to be the fastest-growing trade pub in the computer biz, was 400 ad pages ahead of last year in the first half, a gain of 34%.

Joan Kufrin, a longtime exec at the agency, has written a new bio of the great Leo Burnett, published by the Leo Burnett Co. and containing, they say, "previously untouched archival material." Good stuff for buffs and just plain folks fascinated by the ad biz.

U.S. News has a new director of corporate communications, Bruce J. Zanca, who during the Bush Administration worked for the White House press office.

I'm reliably informed that sex & society columnist for The New York Observer, Candace Bushnell, recently profiled in the Times, is actually home alone in bed most nights by 9 reading Jane Austen and listening to her Vaughan Monroe records. Peggy Siegal is the source.

When you're hot you're hot. Roger Ailes, having recently signed a rich new contract with NBC to run their CNBC and other young but thriving cable ops, is re-releasing his 1988 best seller, "You Are the Message," subtitled "Getting What You Want by Being Who You Are," which is sort of wordy but gets the idea across. According to Roger, we get 7 seconds to make a first impression and after that it's all downhill. Doubleday publishes.

If you've got a sweet tooth, grab Pastry Art & Design, a mag for pastry professionals, edited and published by Michael Schneider, with offices in Suite 600, 45 W. 34th St., N.Y. 10001.

"A Great Day in Harlem," the jazz documentary by Jean Bach, will be shown Sept. 13 over HBO.

Seeing Yankee fans slavering all over Strawberry on his return to the Bigs while still officially under house arrest, suggests again that Barnum was right.

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