Is Domino, the home shopping mag, really the biggest launch in five years from Conde Nast? That's what Beth Brenner and Editor Deborah Needleman assure me, with Publisher Beth saying even Lucky didn't get off to this torrid a start. The big Domino news? After two issues, spring and summer, they'll publish monthly Sept. through Dec., then go to 10X in 2006, when the rate base jumps to 450,000. Why the hurry? First, the premiere issue published four months prior to launch date because of "consumer demand." They say it overdelivered by 100,000 copies on newsstands, fulfilled 300,000 subs and sold 107 ad pages. Beth says ad categories are home, auto, retail, fashion, beauty, food, finance, tech, etc. Deborah scored a coup by hiring as columnist Marian McEvoy, former Elle Decor and House Beautiful editor in chief.
Parade stole a good one in Mike DeBartolo as senior VP-advertising, from sister company Fairchild, where Mike was exec VP of the B2B division.
Brilliant stroke! Just as the shuttle landed at Edwards the other morning, a "CBS Special Report" banner obliterated the lower fourth of the screen so the world couldn't see the wheels touch. Fire someone!
Lisa Hughes of Conde Nast Traveler promises more news when we lunch right after Labor Day, but says this month's is their biggest August issue ever, up 10% to 89 ad pages.
A posthumous treat from the late great Al Hirschfeld in October when Glenn Young Books publishes a book of 75 of his drawings about theater in Blighty, "Al Hirschfeld's British Aisles." They originally appeared in The New York Times.
Ken Wallace rides again! There's a slick new and oversized golf quarterly, Golf Connoisseur, published by Riggs Heinrich Media in Tulsa. Editor is James A. Frank, co-publishers are Mr. Wallace (formerly at Rodale and Parade) and Joe Kelly. R. Chris Riggs and Rocky D. Heinrich are apparently the money guys. Summer issue, 132 pages.
Jennifer Deans tells me, "Health's recent redesign is paying off." Through September they've sold 776 ad pages, up 8%. September alone is 13% ahead. Wine maven Andrea Immer Robinson is a new monthly contributor.
They held a little 99th (or 100th, they're unsure) birthday party for Stella Rigas Aug. 15 at the Jewish Guild Home for the Blind in Yonkers. Stella was the "face" of Maxwell House Coffee from 1926 on in magazine and billboard ads.
Years ago over dinner at Alice Mason's house a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs was holding forth on Carter admin. schemes to rescue our Tehran hostages. Peter Jennings just listened and then said politely, "Admiral, your strike force couldn't have sped down so-and-so street on Thursday afternoon. That's their marketing day and it's closed, packed with vegetable stands and bazaars of all sorts." Peter knew, he'd worked the Tehran beat. All of us, including Mary Tyler Moore, goggled; the Admiral harrumphed.