For several years Hachette Filipacchi CEO Jack Kliger has been urging us, "Love thy neighbor." His thesis: Magazine companies ought to stop trashing rival mags and instead spend the promotional dough and creative energy on telling advertisers and readers what's good about magazines in this brave new world of blogs and other alternative media. Now that Jack's been elected the top guy at MPA for the next two years, he's about to tackle another woe, circulation reporting. Over lunch at Bernadin the other day Jack said he'll be talking tough about circ this week to the MPA, not just about irregularities or sloppy bookkeeping, but using where appropriate, the word "fraud." Stand by for fireworks.
Speaking of magazine publishers, the Monday before Thanksgiving at 21 resembled an MPA lunch. I was with Waxy and Carlo, Alan Waxenberg, longtime publisher of Good House, and Carlo Vittorini, a varsity half-miler at Penn and for years the boss at Parade. Carlo was off to London the next day while Waxy fetched along from London Terry Mansfield, CBE, the National Magazine Co. biggie in New York for a day. When I was publisher of Harper's Bazaar here Terry had the same job on the UK edition. He tells me Harper's Bazaar & Queen is booming and will change its name next March, dropping the "& Queen." Joining us, former Newsweek Publisher Peter Eldredge, now of Boardroom Consultants, and Randy Jones, founder of Worth.
Mitch Fox of Golf Digest Cos. (Newhouse) tells me the recent exclusive, multi-year marketing partnership with the PGA Tour is only the beginning. They'll continue "to forge these types of alliances and partnerships to further establish our position."
Travel & Leisure preening over the latest version of Monopoly. T & L now occupies a space once held by a utility. The November issue is their best revenue November ever and they now have five international editions in four lingos, Chinese the latest.
Smithsonian, celebrating its 35th anniversary under new prez and publisher, Thomas Ott-with circ topping two million-says it's the 33rd biggest mag in the country.
Stewart Weiner, once editor of Palm Springs Life, says his own mag, entitled 111 for the main route through town, is now 4 years old with controlled circ of 5,500 plus another 12,000 copies to the "philanthropic community here."
Jim Fallows's superb cover story in the current Atlantic about the sad sack Iraqi army and police is frightening. In January, Random House publishes "American Vertigo," the hardcover book version of Bernard-Henri Levy's series that ran in the Atlantic.
Publisher Mary Murcko writes that Rodale's Best Life, an upscale lifestyle mag for men launched last year, will go from seven issues to 10 starting in February and boosts the rate base from 300,000 to 400,000.
As one who recalls "swinging London," it's a shocker to hear that playboy Georgie Best, perhaps then the greatest soccer player in the world, left us quite so quickly.