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How self-obsessed is the Mafia? Best-selling author Peter Maas tells me when Sammy the Bull Gravano phoned the week of John Kennedy's death and asked how he was, Peter said, okay except for what happened to "John Junior." Hey, said Sammy the Bull, "guys go to jail all the time." Sammy thought they were talking about John Gotti Jr.

Talking with House & Garden Publisher Brenda Saget about business at the recently revived Conde Nast title, you wonder why they killed it off in the first place. "At Conde Nast there are people who wonder, too," says Brenda. Here's the latest: relaunched in September of '96 with a rate base of 400,000, H&G now has a base of 650,000 with ABC reporting delivery of 796,000. Brenda tells me they'll take a rate base increase "in the near future." Ad pages through September are up 5%, and Brenda projects full-year ad count at about the same. "And we've taken double-digit rate increases twice in the past three years. Our September 'luxury' issue will run 195 ad pages compared to 168 last year. In October we'll run a Paris shopping guide, and in 2001, we'll celebrate our hundredth year." Ms. Saget earned the right to preen. She was with the monthly during the bleak days and returned after a stint at The New Yorker with David Carey to become publisher. Why is H&G booming? She credits Editor Dominique Browning, on the job since the rebirth, and changes in marketing high-end merch (Gucci, Cartier, Jaguar) to what she calls "the 77 million baby boomers out there."

I used to think the San Francisco 49ers were classy, from their personnel right down to their uniforms. Now they've hired Lawrence Phillips.

Lee Wilcox takes over as senior VP-marketing for Mort Zuckerman's U.S. News, The Atlantic, and Fast Company. She was at Weider. And Jeffrey Ahl moves from Rolling Stone to U.S. News as associate publisher.

PC World, the monthly computer mag, promoted longtime Editor in Chief Cathryn Baskin to VP-edit director.

Peter Hunsinger checks in to say the September issue of Architectural Digest is up 49 ad pages over last year to 217, third September in a row they've hit historic sales figures. Give that Paige Rense a new car. Or something!

Attention Korean vets & Marine buffs: the Book Review of The New York Times raves about Martin Russ's "Breakout," the epic story of the Chosin Reservoir fight between the Marines and the Chinese in 1950. Marty later fought in Korea and wrote about it in his best seller, "The Last Parallel."

Top PR talent Cathy O'Brien left Wenner Media to spend more time with her 18-month-old son and consult for Phase2media, a new Internet ad/marketing outfit.

Howard Rubenstein and his PR firm celebrate 45 years in the biz Sept. 27 at Tavern on the Green in Manhattan.

Didn't see any ink on this at all but am told Fairchild very quietly launched a

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