LIVING PROOF: It may not be launched until September 1996, but House & Garden already has a new nickname. Wags inside and outside Conde Nast are referring to it as “James Truman Living,” since the magazine reportedly will compete head-on with Martha Stewart Living.
Ironically, S.I. Newhouse turned down Martha Stewart’s idea for a magazine before she went to Time Inc. Ventures. Stewart’s books are published by Clarkson & Potter, a division of Random House, another Newhouse property.
Executives at Time Warner said they’re aware that Conde Nast might try to poach some MSL editors and are taking “appropriate steps” to keep the important ones happy.

CORRESPONDENT CARRIE: Carrie Donovan, who retired last month from the New York Times, will be covering the Bryant Park shows live for CBS’s local noon news program next Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
“I’ve never done anything like this, with the earplug, so I may be a mess,” said Donovan. “I hope I’m not standing there saying, ‘What? What?”‘
Donovan said that she doesn’t have a full-time gig with CBS but added, “We’re talking about eventually doing something. But that’s all in the future.”

ELLE’S PECKING ORDER: When it comes to this season’s fashion shows, Elle has some definite ideas about where its editors should sit. Gilles Bensimon, Elle’s creative director, wrote various companies requesting particular seats for certain editors.
The letter reads: “First row: Regis Pagniez, publication director, Gilles Bensimon, creative director, Ruth LaFerla, fashion news director and Nicole Crassat, international fashion director. “Following is the order of priority for the rest of our staff. Fanny Pagniez, senior stylist, Marybeth Schmitt, senior fashion editor, Jackie Caddick, senior market editor…” and so on and so forth.
Meanwhile, Elle will run a special 30-second spot on the Sony Jumbotron in Times Square during Fashion Week. The message will run April 2 through April 11th, seven to eight times an hour.