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Police sources say the crack private investigators Kathie Lee has out looking for sweatshops are the same bunch O.J. hired to track down the murderers.

Michael Gross, author of the hardcover best seller "Model," and a former New York Times reporter who became a hot free lance magazine ticket at New York and, briefly, for Esquire, moves on with the September issue to GQ where he'll be doing a six-times-a-year column on, guess what! the media. Art Cooper might have caught himself a good idea here.

What sells magazines? According to Wenner Media, it's still NBC's hit sitcom, "Friends." The Rolling Stone issue with Jennifer Aniston of "Friends" on the cover was their best newsstand seller in 20 years exclusive of memorials, specials and double issues. And the "Friends" cover on US was the biggest newsstand seller ever for the mag except for year-end entertainment specials. But of course the stats on that Drew Barrymore cover (with two strategically placed boxing gloves) weren't yet in.

Sure shows the power of the press (and this column). The week I inquired if it were "ignoble" to hope Dennis Rodman's book bombed, it hit No. 1 on the Times best seller list.

Let's hear it for School of Visual Arts screenwriting/film student Sherese Robinson. She won a film fellowship to Columbia University to do grad work.

Cute. Playboy's party for "ragin' Cajun" James Carville (of Clinton campaign fame) last Wednesday was at New York's Women's National Republican Club.

Big doings tonight when Manhattan lit'ry types lift a glass to Michael Korda and his new book, "Man To Man," the party hosted by Jack Romanos, Carolyn Reidy and Warner LeRoy at a west side apartment. That's how you know they're lit'ry types; it's the west side.

Shifts at Sports Illustrated have NY Ad Director Don Mahoney moving to their "Golf Plus" edition as director of golf (sounds like a job in which you wear plus-fours), with Fabio Freyre, the NY sales manager, becoming director.

Cigar nuts of the world, unite! Marvin Shanken's latest Cigar Aficionado buying guide to premium cigars is now out at $9.95 soft cover and available at bookstores, tobacconists and by mail (387 Park Ave. South, NY, NY 10016).

Seen roller-blading along Further Lane in East Hampton, JFK Jr. My eyewitness sources, two young women, report he is "slightly greying at the temples." Hey, it catches up with all of us.

Jim Richardson reports Industry Week just scored with the biggest single issue in its hundred-year history.

Wednesday of this week at the Waldorf-Astoria, Dick Clark once again hosts the Radio Mercury Awards.

Coming next week, exclusively in this space, my annual report from the UK on Fleet Street, the Palace, Savile Row, Harrods, the pubs, and much more.

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