Brady's Bunch

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I know the movie stinks, but is the wedding still on?

We don't think of it as a "hottie," but Woman's Day, the old but recently remade Hachette monthly under Editor Jane Chesnutt and Publisher Laura Klein, is doing OK, up 13% (140 pages) in ad count year to date. And it's cut a promotional deal with giant retailer Wal-Mart. For Day-trippers, 2002 wasn't a disaster area, down only 5% in pages during the worst of the slump. This spring it went up half an inch in trim size to differentiate it from the competition. Energized by backing from boss Jack Kliger, Day now draws more hits on its Web site than former Hachette leader Car and Driver. Jane's not thrown out service, hardly that, but they package it more appealingly, got edgier with the edit and pushed fractional ads back to tidy up the front of the book. Jane said that with Martha Stewart Living, and more recently, Oprah and Real Simple, the magazine universe has changed. So Woman's Day would change as well. And Laura's pushing hard for new revenue sources, including a full-court press for auto biz. As for the French owners? They OK'd the expenditure and said, "Vive!"

Men's Health, over its own temporary woes, closed the third quarter up 4% in ad pages, ranking ninth among all mags for first-half growth. On the edit side they've picked up Joe Queenan, Bob Drury, et al as contributors.

A coup by Charlie Rose, that Howell Raines interview scooping the networks and the cable news channels.

Wasn't Maureen Dowd a trifle harsh on Kate Hepburn? De mortuis nil nisi bonum ...

Parade promoted Alan Wolfgang to senior VP-newspaper relations. With about 350 different newspapers to deal with, that's important stuff.

New York Editor Caroline Miller writes of the makeover, "under the supervision of Design Director David Matt, we've knocked down some walls ..." I think they've torn down the house. What has always been a market mover, mayor maker, now resembles Marvel Comics on a caffeine jag.

Final words: before the shooting began, I wrote in the March 24 Crain's New York Business, "Our soldiers are so good, our power such, that this may be a short and happy war. But I think it is the wrong war in the wrong place as the decidedly wrong time. A war that promises a hard and bitter peace."

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