Just about every week I'm on a CNBC midday news and talk show called "Power Lunch," usually doing interviews from a corner table at the Four Seasons restaurant in Manhattan.
Which so impressed Bill Griffeth, the show's anchorman, that he remarked recently on air that, "I think Brady goes to lunch for a living."
Mr. Griffeth is not far from the mark. And there are worse jobs. Now, with a new year just begun, I have a few people I resolve to have lunch with at least once during 1997; we can argue over the tab later:
Imus. Dr. K. Lou Holtz. Katie Couric, NBC's "morning glory." Ellen Levine. Susan Buckley of American Health for Women because I like its new slogan, "doesn't treat you like one of the boys." "Young Bob" Guccione, now more famous than his dad. Norman Mailer. PR man Dan Klores. Liz Smith. Howard Stringer to find out what he's up to. Myrna Blyth. Ralph Lauren. Gerry Byrne and Peter Bart of Variety. Rochelle Udell to talk hoops. Cathie Black, who's shaking 'em up. Mary Berner. Greg Coleman of Reader's Digest.
Ovitz, so I can ask, what happened with Eisner? Eisner, to ask, what happened with Ovitz? Fergie. John Mack Carter. Peter Lund of CBS. Tim Forbes. Linda Wells of Allure. Pete Hamill to ask what he's going to do with the Daily News. Jack Kliger. Christie Hefner. Ann Moore whose People makes all that lovely money. Emanuel Ungaro. Bill Kerr the coming biggie at Meredith. Carlo Vittorini. Roger Ailes. Ted Turner (on different days).
Paulina Porizkova. Any day. Bob Wright of NBC. Art Cooper. Norm Pearlstine. Helen Gurley and David Brown (who says no one wants to lunch her anymore?). Marvin Traub, the man who made Bloomies. Conan O'Brien, the new "Captain Midnight." Barry Diller. Felix Rohatyn. Jule Campbell to find out how her Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue hardcover book is coming along. Dick Snyder of Golden Books. Carl Portale. Dominique Browning of House & Garden. Marty Singerman of the New York Post. Alexandra Penney.
Chris Meigher, who picks the brains of geniuses like Andrew Heiskell. Shelley Lazarus of Ogilvy. John Leo. Harry Evans. And the missus. Kevin Buckley of Playboy. George Plimpton. Walter Isaacson of Time. Jerry Della Femina. Jeannie Williams of USA Today. Jim Seymore at Entertainment Weekly. Ruth Whitney. Rupert Murdoch. Stiller & Meara. Ron "The Gator" Guidry to ask how he felt when the Yankees finally won one. Paula Zahn. Paul Sagan before he leaves for Paris. Anyone know where Robin Wolaner is these days?
Graydon Carter. Linda Evangelista. Mandy Patinkin. Ken Wallace of Prevention. Kathie Lee Gifford and may she, somehow, somewhere, find happiness and stop kvetching! Janet Robinson, newly minted president of The New York Times. David Ogilvy if he ever leaves the chateau. Broadway's Tom Leahy. Danny Meyer (maybe at one of his own restaurants, instead). Michael Thomas whose prose can be as elegant or as cutting as there is. Walter & Betsy Cronkite (when their knees heal). Betty Bacall (whose knees are fine). Brian Dennehy. Lee Marvin. Coach K. The Great Gretzky. Oprah.
Steve Florio. Because he gives great quote. The last of the oldtime PR men, Joe Goldstein. Lee Solters, last of the oldtime Hollywood flacks. John Cirillo of Madison Square Garden. Rick Smith of Newsweek. Ditto his boss, Kay Graham. The great Calvin (Bud) Trillin. Brooke Astor. Bernie Williams of the Yankees. Elaine. Alec Guinness. Any of those Arkansas Asians when they're in their philanthropic mode. Phil Simms. John LeCarre. Calvin Klein. Marvin Josephson of ICM. Charles McCord. Bradford Dillman, but only if wife Suzy Parker comes along. Janice Grossman of K-III Media.
The venerable and politically incorrect Alistair Cooke, who has some of the best stories ever, like the time he ran into Hitler in a Munich beer garden. Angela Lansbury. Don Pels. Ed Finkelstein, ex-Macy's. Steve Roberts down on Wall Street. Fred Drasner so I can find out just what all it is he does for Mort. John Weitz. Harry McQuillen. Dick Stolley. The best hoops writer ever, Peter Vecsey. Yves Saint Laurent.
Tom Goff of Arco in L.A. Tom Plate of the Los Angeles Times. Ken Auletta and more of his media pieces. Annie Gilbar. Ian Schrager (and how long has it been since Stevie's death?). Chuck Mitchelmore over there in Paris on the International Herald Trib. Neal Travis. Caroline Miller so she can tell me what's she up to at New York magazine. Steve Dunleavy.
Tom Murphy of Cap Cities/ ABC just about anytime he wants and just for fun. And,