Brady's Bunch

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The New York Post reports Strawberry's found God again. Was laying on hands in church the other Sunday in West Palm. The next drug bust can be expected anytime now.

Why Conde Nast Traveler is a must read. While the rest of us focused on the sweaty excitements and controversies of the Athens Olympics, the mag's European editor, G.Y. Dryansky, was off in lovely, tranquil Macedonia, where Alexander the Great was born. "I thought of the lotioned masses paving the shoreline of the Cote d'Azur," he writes, and encounters a young cousin of Hitler's photographer Leni Riefenstahl, just before diving into the local nightclubs, dancing until dawn amid a decadence worthy of Gide. Jerry also reveals even the saintly monks of Mount Athos are starting to compromise. "Until recently, not even female animals were permitted on Mount Athos." Where else can you learn such things?

A WCBS morning radio anchor referred to protesters against the Iraq war as "anti-war opponents."

With circ at 975,000 and ad pages 4.5% ahead, Gourmet Editor Ruth Reichl marks five years in the job. This fall it intros a new "Gourmet Cookbook," weighing over 5 pounds and boasting 1,000 recipes.

Bloomberg Television, citing Nielsen numbers, claims it's now the most-watched early business news, 5 to 8 a.m.

To celebrate its 35th anniversary next spring, Smithsonian invites its 7.4 million readers (and their friends) to go to a selected museum free on April 30.

While plenty of magazine people kvetch, Lou Cona at Vanity Fair says they're ahead 9% in newsstand sales over 2003 and ad pages are up 4.5% up through September. Best selling covers? Hollywood issue in March, Brad Pitt in June, Jackie Kennedy's White House in May.

Whoops, that was Country Living's publisher, Steve Grune enthusing about the Hearst magazine's best September issue in 15 years (AA, Aug. 23, P. 26). In describing the new trim size, Steve noted it's not only larger, "but bigger, too."

With the plethora of shopping mags, Rob Gregory of Maxim told me over lunch it's thinking (mischievously) of launching one called "Returning." More on what's going on at Maxim next week.

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