Brady's Bunch

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The dumbing-down of America, continued: Instead of chewing out NBC programming exec Scott Sassa for not putting shows like "Survivor" and "Big Brother" and "Millionaire" on the air, GE boss Jack Welch ought to give the guy a bonus for maintaining brand quality.

Reader's Digest assigned Jacob Young to develop new editorial features and franchises within and outside the monthly mag.

Time Inc.'s InStyle named Amy Synnott its senior beauty editor. Sharon Suh's the new senior photo ed.

That 75th anniversary festival The New Yorker staged in May worked so well (15,000 readers actually came to town) they'll do it again next year, May 5-7, with 42 events at 33 venues. I am not at all sure what Harold Ross would say beyond, "What the hell?"

The money guy at Gruner & Jahr USA Publishing these days is their new chief financial officer, Andreas Dietrich.

Mademoiselle unveiled its new look and new editor, Mandi Norwood. The new slogan? "The magazine for your me years." Just when do my "me years"come along?

Associate Publisher Cheryl Kaplan says for the first time American Heritage (a Forbes mag) will carry back page advertising. British Airways will be the first client with the September issue.

Ziff Davis Publishing will launch Expedia Travels in October. It's for folks who use the Internet in arranging trips. Scott Crystal oversees the launch.

Joel Kessler moved to Naples, Fla. as group publisher for Gulf Shore Media. He and Charlie Mandel gave up on Greens Fever, their golf mag for kids. The partner with the dough was bunkered.

Best companies in this country for minorities? Fortune lists the top 50 by diversity standards, headed by Advantica, the parent of Denny's, which had all those untoward incidents. I guess they've cleaned up the old act.

New Detroit ad manager (all those lovely Big 3 ads) at National Geographic is Lori J. Friesner, promoted from within.

Promotions at Weider Publications: Carolyn Bekkedahl at Shape, Kevin Walsh at Fit Pregnancy, and Susann Tapper at their teen book, Jump.

Marc USA, Pittsburgh, promoted Laurie Habeeb to creative director and Sharon Aulicino to VP-management supervisor.

Editor Lesley Jane Seymour reports that YTD the top-selling Redbook covers have been April with Julia Roberts, January with Meg Ryan and June with Faith Hill. She says newsstand sales for the first half were nearly 20% up on last year.

At the Capitol on July 25, Myrna Blyth of Ladies' Home Journal, Nancy Evans of and journalist Cokie Roberts salute the sitting women U.S. senators, and a new book from Morrow all about them. The senators are donating their profits to the Girl Scouts, a splendid notion.

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