A savvy, sassy redhead named Jill D. Seelig took me to lunch the other day at Michael's to tell me what's going on at O the Oprah Magazine, and especially at its new spinoff, O At Home. Having profiled Oprah Winfrey for Parade and having been on her national show in Chicago and on her earlier, local version in Baltimore (Chicken man Frank Perdue got top billing that day!), I don't need to be sold on Ms. Winfrey. But Jill, who's been there since it all began in partnership with Hearst in `99 and is publisher of both mags, had some news. O itself, "the big one" as Ms. Seelig calls it, sails into its sixth year with audited circ of 2.6 million and a newsstand of 1.1 million. The monthly will have its best October ever and YTD is up 10% in ad pages and 16% in dollars. As for O At Home, it's done so well in a couple of trial issues, both selling well over 600,000 solely at newsstand, that it has now sold almost 60,000 subs and will go quarterly in 2006. A fall 2005 issue is just out with a holiday issue yet to come. "High Point (the N.C. furniture capital) loves it, so do readers. It's more than a shelter magazine. Home is so much more than shelter ... a terrific new vase can change the way you do a room. Advertisers seem to like it (the book), readers like it, Oprah likes it." Jill and Editor in Chief Amy Gross and all of them are Hearst employees, "all but Oprah," who Jill says "we don't see regularly but she's always in touch." Intending to be a CPA, Jill got her MBA at Fordham, decided selling ads might be more fun, worked for Self, Vanity Fair, was hired as ad director for O and after one issue, promoted to publisher. She lives in the Village, has a place in the Hamptons and plays "vigorous" tennis. You don't rush the net on Seelig!
Fascinating move by Mimi Lombardo, jumping ship from The New York Times Magazine, where she was formerly market director and fashion editor, to become fashion director at Travel & Leisure. Editor in Chief Nancy Novogrod also hired Tina Isaac as Paris correspondent and Sheikh Majed Al-Sabah as a contributing editor "providing insights on style, culture and news in the Middle East." He's the nephew of the emir of Kuwait. How `bout them apples?
Writer unrest at the Village Voice over possible pay cuts. When hasn't there been writer unrest at the Voice?
The Robb Report throws a party Sept. 15 at Chelsea Piers in Manhattan for their "best of the best in NY" issue.
Hearst's Cathie Black and NBC anchor Brian Williams host a book party for Andrea Mitchell's "Talking Back...to Presidents, Dictators, and Assorted Scoundrels." Sept. 12 at Cathie's apartment.
Let's hear it for Fox News' Roger Ailes, now also to run Fox TV stations.
The Library of American Broadcasting Foundation luncheon Sept. 15 at the Grand Hyatt honors Johnny Carson, Mel Allen, Bob & Ray, Mister Rogers, and Gabriel Heatter ("Ah, there's bad news tonight ... "). Charlie Osgood emcees.
I'm tardy on this one. Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S. has picked Ellen Abramowitz as publisher of their new young women's mag, For Me. She was at Seventeen and Teen.