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BATTLE OF THE EXES: Clearly, GQ readers know where they stand on the Kate Bosworth-Orlando Bloom split.

All three issues of the magazine in the first quarter of 2005 appear to be down against exceptionally strong sellers in the previous year, according to early scan data from Source Interlink, a company that tracks single-copy sales at major retailers in real time. But the January issue, with Bosworth on the cover, seems to have had the most precipitous falloff. Source Interlink has newsstand sales for that issue declining somewhere between 40 to 50 percent from the previous January, GQ’s bestseller of 2004, which featured Bosworth’s ex, Orlando Bloom. Newsstand sales of the Bloom cover were up 63.6 percent on January 2003.

Meanwhile, this year’s March issue, also down from last year, is still on newsstands for another five days and should be helped along by editor in chief Jim Nelson’s Thursday morning appearance on “The Today Show,” where he discussed current GQ cover subject and onetime Al-Qaeda target Russell Crowe.

A spokeswoman for the magazine, which, like WWD, is part of Advance Publications Inc., said, “Condé Nast doesn’t release or comment on estimates. It’s premature for us to talk about magazines in the first quarter, based on limited retail data.” — Sara James

LEARNING BY OSMOSIS: She may not be America’s sweetheart anymore, but Meg Ryan’s becoming more multifaceted with age. Ryan was the guest of honor at a party hosted by Glamour Wednesday night, where Iman, Nicole Miller, actress Michelle Trachtenberg and Counting Crows singer Adam Duritz also mingled. Ryan appeared on the cover of Glamour’s April issue, and also contributed a portfolio of her own photographs of subjects including Queen Noor, Christiane Amanpour and Ann Richards, who was also at the party.

Wearing “an old Prada dress,” Ryan said she’d been taking pictures “a really long time — but I still claim my novice status.” Has spending so much time on the other side of the lens given her any special insight into the discipline? “Strangely, I did shout things out during photo shoots that I had no idea I knew, like ‘Somebody put a scrim in front of that HMI!’ But I had no idea I knew that.” — Jeff Bercovici

This story first appeared in the March 11, 2005 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

SCHWARTZ STOP: By day, Gil Schwartz is the executive vice president of communications at CBS. (He was one of the few level heads at the network to push for additional reporting immediately following the “60 Minutes” memogate scandal.) By night, he writes magazine articles under the pseudonym Stanley Bing, a moonlighting gig he’s held since 1984 when he began penning a regular business column for Esquire. More recently, Schwartz has been writing under his given name, as well. “Every now and then, Schwartz wants a byline,” he explained, speaking in the third person to keep his identities straight. “Why should Bing get all the invitations to restaurants and parties?” While Bing currently writes for the back page of Fortune, Schwartz’s byline can be found in Best Life, Men’s Health and the new publication Absolute, where he’ll be writing about food.

Too bad he didn’t make it to Absolute’s launch party at the Time Warner center on Tuesday, where the canapes and cocktails would surely have met his approval — they were catered by Per Se. The evening’s chatter, however, revolved less around the truffled popcorn and tuna cones than around the swaying of the building, which was quite perceptible on the 79th floor on a windy night. “I thought maybe I’d had too much to drink,” said Caroline Miller, Absolute’s editorial director. “Then I realized it was the floor moving.” — S.J.

MILKING THE SERIAL: Former Tuleh designer-turned-style writer Josh Patner delivers the second of four installments of his saga, “Cassandra’s Online Adventure,” in the new issue of the Bergdorf Goodman magazine this week. And while it’s slightly more coherent than his first Cassandra story, the fictional heroine continues to suffer from some sort of a cross between attention deficit disorder and a compulsive shopping habit.

“She has shadings of some early Tuleh clients,” Patner said via e-mail from Rome, where he’s now based. “Her moods seem to mirror my own,” he added. “She was a spontaneous combustion in that respect.” — S.J. and J.B.

THAT’S A RAP: Whatever else may be true of The Source, as an employer, it offers plenty of opportunity for career advancement, what with people regularly quitting or being dismissed. The latest out of the hip-hop magazine’s door are editor in chief Kim Osorio and managing editor Adila Francis, who left this week — according to one source with close ties to the magazine, at the request of David Mays, the company’s chief executive officer. The new editor in chief is Joshua “Fahiym” Ratcliffe, formerly deputy editor. Meanwhile, The Source still has not filed a circulation claim for the second half of 2004. — J.B.

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