Brady's Bunch

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It was a typical power lunch at the Four Seasons in Manhattan, Barry Diller, Sir Howard Stringer, Walter Anderson of Parade, and there I was sharing a table with maybe the hottest ticket in the room, Mary Berner. The delightful Mare, mother of four (ages 4 to 12) and former publisher of big deals like Glamour and TV Guide, is running Fairchild Publications these days for Mr. Newhouse (to whom she reports directly, I might add). The news? WWD started publishing Saturdays for the first time ever to cover the big fashion shows and is scoring double-digit ad sales gains. W, the sleek spinoff, is up 7% in ad pages YTD, and will itself spin off W Jewelry, which sold 250 ad pages in its first three trial issues. Details, a loser just a few years back, is 31% ahead in pages and will spin off a shopping guide stand-alone called Vitals in the spring. Jane is up 8% in ads. Elegant Bride (a new takeover) will this week announce a new editor. And, says Mary, W now ranks behind only Vogue in market share and ahead of both Elle and Harper's Bazaar. PS: Like Popeye, she eats spinach as her main course.

Joe Conason fans gathered at the National Arts Club to toast the New York Observer columnist for his new book, "Big Lies," just out from St. Martin's Press. Joe's not quite as funny as Franken or as nuts as Coulter, but he's also going to have a best seller.

A funny, and sad, media story: the publishing outfit that reputedly paid big bucks to troubled Times reporter Jayson Blair to write his book, has reportedly gone bankrupt.

Country Living just turned 25!

John Brown Publishing, London, and a couple of Yank partners, launch Drill, a new mag for the U.S. military on Oct. 14. It'll be sold (at $3.25) through the huge MES (Military Exchange System) on bases worldwide.

Just out from Dan Hill via Wiley Publishers in Hackensack, N.J., "Body of Truth: Leveraging What Customers Can't Or Won't Say." It's a look at marketing advertising and research from the point of view of a Ph.D.

Ran into a newly slimmed-down Gael Greene, maybe the most delicious of food writers, at Nick & Toni's in East Hampton. Gael tells me she's writing her memoirs. If Gael spills all, this'll have the gourmets and gourmands licking their lips.

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