Brady's Bunch

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In the turbulent category of celebrity journalism, the redoubtable Us Weekly Editor Janice Min has finally gotten her well-deserved new contract from sometime skinflint Jann Wenner. Bonnie Fuller continues to thrash about trying to get David Pecker's Star right. Upstart Brit Richard Desmond enters the fray with his OK! (it hit newsstands early this month). While over at Time Inc. Exec VP Nora P. McAniff tells me that despite ferocious competition, their category topper People "experienced the best first quarter ad performance in our 31-year history and finished the first half up 10% in ad pages." People also boosted its circulation to nearly 3.8 million (3,780,772) as measured by ABC, and enjoyed its best newsstand in seven years. "The second half is off to a great start as well," says Nora, who brags (her word) about Publisher Paul Caine (no mutiny there!) and VP-Consumer Marketing Steve Sachs, who report to her. "And (veteran Managing Editor) Martha Nelson, well, what to say about Martha?" Coming up, their marketing effort travels to 30 Wal-Mart supercenters in 26 states, a September Emmy Awards edition and an Emmy Awards party tie-in with Entertainment Tonight. Take that! Jann and Pecker and Mr. Desmond, says Nora.

Ladies' Home Journal in October will run one of its longest stories ever, the Iraq war diary of an American woman soldier, Air Force Capt. Heidi Clark. Of the 138,000 GIs in country, LHJ says 11,000 are now women.

I made it to the launch party at Elaine's for Chicken Soup for the Soul magazine. J. Mignonne Wright of Modern Media made a speech. She's publisher-editor. Elvis is on the cover (great shot!)

Patrick Di Chiro's Manhattan marketing operation Thunder Factory set up for business at 584 Broadway, Suite 603 in Soho.

On the day Oscar de la Renta hosted a Four Seasons lunch for A-Rod's birthday with Dr. Kissinger, the star guest, young Iranian-born editor Maer Roshan and I were at the next table talking about the early returns on his new magazine, Radar, backed by Mort Zuckerman. The two men got to know each other when Mort was bidding for New York magazine and considering Maer as its editor. When Bruce Wasserstein won New York instead, Roshan pitched his own Radar idea to Mort and it took. With a second issue about to pop, Maer says they've sold 50,000 subs and 100,000 of the premiere issue on newsstands. "And we're starting to break news," he said. "How do you break news with a mag that comes out every few months?" Well, they published that Disneyland expose on boozing by performers playing "Goofy" and "Pluto," etc. "And our Web site this morning ran an item reporting Karl Rove has a honey."

If you're a fan of musical standards and great vocals, get this new Carly Simon CD "Moon- light Serenade." Costs 16 bucks.

Allison Wolfe Reckson of Palm Beach Media Group, complains re my mention recently of their several mags, the Palm Beach Illustrated, the Naples Illustrated and the "Tampa Bay Ditto." It's not called "the ditto," and she wants "a correction or clarification" on that last one. Get a sense of humor, Allison.

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