Brady's Bunch

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Now that we know it takes a tag team of Martin Bashir, Cynthia McFadden and Terry Moran to replace Ted Koppel on ABC's "Nightline," it's time to recall the only time I ever did the show. It was several years after "Nightline" began (during the Iran hostage crisis) and Rupert Murdoch was becoming a powerful and controversial figure in American media. Was he a force for good or for evil? Harry Evans and I were the designated debaters. Since Sir Harry had recently been sacked by Rupert, and I was still in Murdoch's employ, you can guess how we took sides. Koppel was in a studio somewhere (D.C.?), Evans was lecturing on a college campus in the Carolinas, I was in a vacant and echoing Manhattan studio with an engineer, and we had at it. Sir Harry graciously conceded I had eaten his lunch; I thought it was a draw. Best moment, when Evans complained that as a proprietor, Rupert interfered with his editors. I said I was "shocked, shocked" to learn a press lord would ever do such a thing.

Successful Farming mag launches a "Living the Country Life" TV show Nov. 5.

Kim Kelleher of Self says their breast cancer awareness drive hopes to raise a quarter mil.

Yes, it's true; "The View's" Star Jones lost all that weight. She and the groom (in a white baseball cap) had the front window table at Elaine's. Garibaldi the waiter claims that it's a stomach staple, but I can't confirm that.

Campbell-Ewald cites a new poll that "55% of U.S. employees are bored at work." Noted.

Departures' October issue on China ran 168 ad pages.

Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel hosts dinner at Danny Meyer's new restaurant The Modern at MOMA in N.Y. Nov. 3. They'll pass out awards to companies that "go the extra mile" for travelers.

The Glamour "women of the year" awards are Nov. 2, Lincoln Center. L'Oreal sponsors.

Diana Munson, Thurman's widow, writes from Canton, Ohio, to say they'll hand out the 26th annual awards in her late husband's name Jan. 31 at the Marriott Marquis in N.Y. Contact John Cirillo, 212-972-5337.

Prentice Hall just published "The Power of the Purse," a hardcover book by Fara Warner about women as consumers. Fara's a longtime biz writer for the Times, the WSJ etc.

Onetime Times ad columnist (and former ambassador) Carl Spielvogel's on a crusade. "I had lunch with Punch [Sulzberger] and said if a guy shoots up the Post Office it's Page One news. Every day you run an inside box listing the latest war dead. They're the real news. Put the box on Page One!" Why stop with the Times, Carl?

Parade mag Chairman Walter Anderson to be named "Marine for Life" Nov. 2 aboard the Intrepid. Brokaw hosts the black-tie gala, Gen. Jim Jones flies in from NATO, Harvey Keitel and Gerry Byrne chair.

Met Home and N.Y.'s designers partnered last week to host a "jazz age" benefit for Partnership for the Homeless at the N.Y. Design Center.

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