Byline: Lisa Lockwood / With contributions from Peter Braunstein and Jacob Bernstein

MARCH DECLINES: Fashion and beauty magazine advertising continued its free fall in March. According to Publishers Information Bureau, apparel and accessories ad pages in March declined 17.4 percent to 2,211.1, and revenues were off 13.4 percent to $124.5 million.
Toiletries and cosmetic ad pages for March dropped 14.3 percent to 1,204, while revenues fell 8.7 percent to $106 million.
For the first quarter, apparel and accessories ad pages plunged 21 percent to 4,629.3, while ad revenues fell 16.3 percent to $227.6 million. Toiletries and cosmetics ad pages were off 10.1 percent for the first quarter to 2,708.8, with revenues dipping 2.5 percent to $252.5 million, according to PIB.

ROSIE SAYS NO TO MUSTO: Media galore can be expected at the first anniversary celebration of Rosie Magazine and the publication of Rosie O’Donnell’s book “Find Me,” on April 15 at the International Center of Photography — with the notable exception of Michael Musto. The Village Voice columnist has been engaged in a heated war of words with O’Donnell about her recent coming-out. O’Donnell told that outing champion Michelangelo Signorile was a “moron” who made her stay in the closet longer than she would have and that “the same goes for Musto.” Musto, in last week’s “La Dolce Musto” column, counterattacked: “The reason I had to write all that critical stuff about her is that she wasn’t coming out — she was lying and hiding and putting forth that Tom Cruise bull [on her show] day after closety day.”
“Shockingly enough, I wasn’t invited to the Rosie Magazine anniversary party — not even to clean up afterward,” Musto told WWD. “What people forget is that I didn’t make Rosie gay. God made her gay. But I’m honored that she invests me with that power. Maybe if I were an adoptive father I’d be the kind of gay she’d invite to this event.”

A DUD(LEY) FIRST ISSUE: “Loveable in ’10’ and ‘Arthur,”‘ reads the subhead on People Magazine’s current cover, “Hollywood’s unlikely sex symbol spent a lifetime battling a loneliness he could never escape.” The star in question is none other than Dudley Moore, the British comedian who died last week of a rare Parkinson’s-like illness. While the early deaths of former movie stars to rare multisyllabic degenerative illnesses (in this case progressive supranuclear palsy) have always been no-brainers as People Magazine cover fodder, the fact that it was Martha Nelson’s first official issue made the cover choice a bit of a head scratcher. Certainly, the week following the Oscars is traditionally a slow one for entertainment magazines — even US editor Bonnie Fuller was off skiing in Utah. But wasn’t the sudden revelation of Sarah Jessica Parker’s pregnancy — which will no doubt turn baby carriages into the most fashionable accessories since Manolo Blahnik stilettos — a bigger buzz generator than the death of Dudley Moore?
“Martha just began last Monday,” said a People spokeswoman. “The issue closed on Tuesday. So although it is her first official issue as managing editor, she didn’t have a whole lot to do with it.” Phew.

PUBLISH OR PERISH: Is publishing a book a job requirement for editors in chief? Following Cosmopolitan’s Kate White, the New Yorker’s David Remnick and Gourmet’s Ruth Reichel is Dominique Browning, editor in chief of House & Garden, who has written her first book, “Around the House and in the Garden.” (Scribner).
Browning’s book reveals her intimate thoughts about her divorce, heartbreak, healing and rekindling her interest in her home. “When I was divorced, my sense of home fell apart. And so, too, did my house,” she writes. Eventually, her attention to her home helped to mend her heart, and listening to her heart helped spark her interest in her home. The book will hit bookstores at the end of this month.
Meantime, Cosmo’s White isn’t resting on her laurels. She has written her third book, but first novel, called “If Looks Could Kill,” (Warner Bros.) It’s about a glamorous high-powered editor of Gloss, a leading women’s magazine, whose nanny is found poisoned from eating chocolates that were seemingly destined for the editor. The book will be published May 3.

TO RUSSIA, WITH LOVE: If there was any lingering doubt about the success of capitalism in Russia, Hachette Filipacchi Medias has laid it to rest with the news that it has joined forces with Maxim to publish a Russian edition of the men’s beer and babes title. The premiere May issue of Russian Maxim hits newsstands this week. It will have a monthly frequency and target circulation of 80,000. Launch-issue advertisers include Reebok, BMW, Porsche, Mont Blanc, Christian Dior, DKNY, Philip Morris, Timberland and Kenzo. Model Adriana Karembeu appears on the debut cover.
Alexander Malenkov, former deputy editor of the Russian edition of Men’s Health, is editor of Russian Maxim. The Russian edition is Maxim’s 12th international version to be launched in six years.

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