Over at Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S. honcho Jack Kliger was doing his darndest for Franco-American relations by re-upping for another five years, and Elle Group Publisher Carol Smith and Editor in Chief Roberta Myers were working their charms and buying lunch. The bottom line? Carol says Elle mag through September is up 6% in ad pages, the September book itself up 16% (biggest September in 20 years), and fashion ads are a rollicking 43% ahead. "We're maintaining the plus-11% momentum we saw in '03 and are on track for another strong year." Circ is a million, and four of the last five issues have been double-digit ahead of last year at newsstands. Elle, founded by Helene Gordon-Lazareff slightly after the French Revolution, remains a weekly powerhouse with young Frenchwomen, and I didn't think it would prosper here as a monthly. Clearly I was wrong. Current Elle marketing deals, "Project Runway" with Bravo and Miramax, "Women on the Verge" with Armani (on the verge of just what? I muse), Elle spa with Loews Hotels. ElleGirl is clicking as well, they say.
Country Life (Hearst) put out its best September issue in 15 years with a new larger trim size. Through September they're up 4% in ad pages over last year. Now, says Publisher Steven B. Grune, it's not only a larger, "but a bigger tool."
Good thinking, Jann! Wenner (I guess it was he) got Jack Nicholson to do a piece for Rolling Stone, "Remembering Marlon." He and Brando were actually neighbors in L.A.Very nice.
Journalists writing books I: Mark Kriegel's bio of Joe Namath for Viking Penguin comes out today. PW raves it's one football book that "will cross fluidly into pop culture."
Journalists writing books II: Elsa Klensch, who used to work for me at WWD, then to CNN, brings out her first novel Sept. 8, "Live at 10:00, Dead at 10:15."
Sports pages full of essays on Ricky Williams' admirable "independence," walking away from an $18 million contract, when he might just be a guy who enjoys smoking dope better than football.
Allure's Nancy Berger has picked Diane DePaul as associate publisher-advertising and promoted Susan Bornstein to associate publisher-marketing. Also, Wendi Cassuto was boosted to ad director at Allure.
Darn, I missed the synchronized diving event on NBC at Athens. But I did catch some trap shooting.