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Lunched with Jim Gaines, only earthling ever to have been managing editor of Time, Life and People, and today living in Boulder, Colo., a town so "green" it is referred to locally as "The People's Republic of Boulder." Since leaving Time Inc., Gaines has written wonderful books, learned to fly, torn up a leg skiing and now edits a promising new magazine called Travel & Leisure Golf. Dan Brewster, an old Time Inc. pal who today runs American Express Publishing, got Jim to take on what would seem, for a man with his resume, a less than challenging job. But it suits Gaines, who went west two years ago at his wife's urging (she skis) and has gotten to like the life. And how's the golf mag doing? From a launch circ of 200,000 in March of '98, as of July of this year it'll hit 350,000 with a newsstand cover price of $3.95. Publisher Rob Gregory says ad pages for year to date are 198 vs. 105 last year.

Tom Florio beefing up his ad biz team at GQ. Coming on board, Ad Director Richard Skeen and Fashion Director Jeffrey Greif; promoted to new marketing posts are Eric Karp and Suzanne Friedman.

Edelman PR Worldwide named Steven Lombardo CEO of StrategyOne, a division specializing in corporate doings. Celebrity Cruises VP-Marketing Karon Cullen tells me she's leaving to complete a book but will stay in Miami with several consulting projects.

InStyle Editor Martha Nelson hired Alison Gwinn as general editor. That means top editing, managing staff and edit strategy. All clear?

Three months until this year's Jerry Lewis telethon for Muscular Dystrophy but MD Assn. Exec Director Bob Ross is already beating the drums. He tells me when it all began in 1966 the only corporate sponsors were N.Y.-based companies. Since then such national operations as United Airlines, Seven-Up Co., Anheuser-Busch, Harley-Davidson, Citgo, Service Merchandise Co. and ERA Real Estate have come aboard. The pro bono PR work is done by Steve Farella of Jordan, McGrath, Case. For info contact him or William E. Winter, chairman emeritus of Seven-Up at (314) 426-8296.

PC World beefing up its ad sales dept. naming three associate publishers reporting to Jeff Edman, Bill Hanck (West), Wayne Silverman (East) and Bob Ostrow. Also, in San Francisco, the mag promoted Sandy Wong to marketing director.

Reviewing a new book about The New Yorker, I suspect D.T. Max of The New York Observer got it wrong when he wrote, "at its peak the magazine was third in circulation among weeklies, behind only Time and Newsweek." Surely he meant third in advertising since it never approached Life, Look, The Saturday Evening Post in circ.

Crain Communications Inc. (parent of Ad Age, et al) saw ad pages rise for a sixth consecutive year during '98 and total operating revenue climb from $225

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