Brady's Bunch

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The great Nancy Novogrod was in Turkey so in the editor's absence, Travel & Leisure's Publisher Ellen Asmodeo was filling me in over lunch on a rainy day at Daniel Boulud's Bistrot Moderne on West 44th Street. T&L is, as you know, owned by American Express Publishing Corp. and managed by Time Inc., and despite all the sturm und drang of recent years in the travel biz, is doing rather well for itself. Circ at 965,777 (ABC) clears its 950,000 rate base and is larger that its chief rivals Conde Nast Traveler (circ 750,000) and National Geographic Traveler at 715,000. T&L's average sub price of $36.60 is highest, they say, of all major monthlies. Ad pages are up 4% YTD and have topped the previous year by a substantial number every year so far in the 2000s. Don't the woes of Delta and United worry the publisher? "Airline is less than 5% of our total business, and the airlines have been in trouble for years. Remember Pan Am and TWA? Only the (subsidized) foreign airlines and our newer and more innovative lines like Jet Blue are doing well." To pump their hotel biz, Nancy declared June to be "go to a hotel month," and all of the mag's business nationwide (lunches, meetings, etc.) was conducted in a hotel or hotel restaurant for the month. But doesn't constant business travel get to be a nuisance? Not for Ellen, who was telling people when she was 12, "I want a job that pays me to go around the world."

I love that dancing old fool on the Six Flags commercials. We're about the same age.

Power & Motoryacht mag will list "the world's 100 largest yachts" in its August issue. Publisher David Branch et al host a preview cocktail tomorrow (20) aboard a yacht at Chelsea Piers in Manhattan. Also, Primedia increases frequency of Voyaging from twice a year to quarterly next year. It began as a supplement.

Best tank top slogan this beach season in the Hamptons, "You can't afford me."

Better Homes & Gardens Publisher Dan Lagani reports the August issue sets a new ad-page record for the month, topping last August's record by 15%. Year to date Dan says they're running ahead of the 2003 ad page count, which was the biggest in the mag's 83-year history.

Brilliant! Those animated Guinness commercials, "Brilliant! Brilliant!"

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