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Clearly Francis Pandolfi and the Times Mirror Magazines folk think highly of the job Nick Niles has been doing as president of The Sporting News Publishing Co., giving him as they have additionally, the late Peter Bonanni's responsibilities for their Golf Magazine Properties. Nick is also, it might be stressed, a splendid golfer.

Steve Seabolt reports from Menlo Park (California) that Sunset launches the new year by boosting the rate base to 1,425,000.

Yale Roe Films, which does classy film work for media and other firms, grabbed off another award, first place from TechFilm in the new Czech Republic. Roe is at 90 Park Ave. in Manhattan.

One of the best and surely the funniest TV critic in the land, Marvin Kitman of Newsday, celebrated 25 years in the biz with a party at the Four Seasons in Manhattan hosted by Liz Smith and Steve Isenberg and Newsday chief Ray Jansen. His fave all-time comedy show? "All in the Family."

Computer Life (a Ziff-Davis book) in San Francisco says it's the first mag ever to host an online golf tournament. Is that like a scramble?

The American Jewish Committee in Chicago gave its annual civic achievement award to Jack Levy, who heads the city's fifth largest ad agency.

PR whiz Jerry Fields writes to suggest that Tupac Shakur's first name spelled backwards is "CAPUT."

Warren Goodwin, commander of the American Legion's Admen's Post No. 209, writes re a new membership drive. Call Warren at Brian Cronin & Associates Advertising. 212-286-9300.

I heard a commercial about peanut brittle. Did anyone really like peanut brittle? I went for the peanuts but hated the brittle.

Delicious New York Post series on minor league hockey (during the NHL strike) by Jay Greenberg, who followed the Huntington, W.Va., Blizzard. The players, he reports, make $333 a week, drink beer and chase skirts.

Margery Gladstone, publisher of Fitness, says the Gruner & Jahr magazine closed 1994 up 36% in ad pages over the year and with circulation topping 600,000.

Jay Burzon, on joining Inside Sports as VP-sales, memos me, "My playbook now reads, `S.I., watch out!'*" Modest chap, this Burzon.

Chanel Inc. promoted Tim Doran to associate director of sales promotion.

Inc. magazine's Jim Spanfeller reports the rate base this month goes up to 650,000 and the frequency to 18 times.

Mark Lacombe is the new Detroit manager for Midwest Living.

Food & Wine mag named Virginia Perry its marketing director. She'd been at The New Yorker.

The Newspaper Association of America promoted Terence Poltrack to VP-editorial director. He continues as editor of their Presstime magazine.

Claus E. Sadlier of San Francisco, a product innovator (as he calls himself), sends along a press release about a new kind of paper coffee cup he's invented. Says Claus, it will eliminate what he calls, "paper waist." And spells it that way!

I got somewhat confused and mixed up the Elle ad pages sold this year with those of Home magazine. Both Hachette-Filipacchi titles are doing splendidly, the first up nearly 11% through November and Home more than 15% ahead.

Effective this month, James C. Sammartino is publisher of Travel Holiday mag.

The first issue this year of the bimonthly FamilyPC carries 170 ad pages. Not bad for its third-ever issue.

O.J.'s getting a 900-number because the legal bills broke him? You mean Johnnie Cochran and Shapiro aren't doing this out of sheer compassion for the guy?

That yearend issue of New York magazine saluting the city for its positives, referred to "UN Plaza, near that building where they found Truman Capote dead ..." And all that time I'd bought the story Tru died at Joanne Carson's house in Los Angeles.

Onward and upward with Chris Meigher. His new communications firm now owns Allentown, Pa.-based F D R Publications, custom publishers for the hospital trade.

Movieline's rate base rises from 195,000 to 250,000 effective ... now!

And Richard Beckman reports the January and February issues of Conde Nast Traveler are the largest (in ads) ever for those months.

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