Memo Pad: Rock On, Richard... So Long, Farewell, Adieu, Auf Wiedersehen... Hi, Im Hillary...

The effort to build the Conde Nast Media Group into a group-buy powerhouse has found another stage - literally.

As for the magazine supplement, which is sent to subscribers, Condé Nast publishers have previously wrangled to be included in the "Fashion Rocks" supplement to bolster their page counts and revenue, but sometimes have been shut out. "You try to find the ones that make the most sense," said Beckman. "With 'Fashion Rocks,' Vogue is a more synergistic project than Golf Digest." The Condé Nast Media Group declined to name the initial 14 magazines with which "Movies Rock" will be bundled, but Beckman said the number could grow depending on how the ad-selling goes and whether there is demand from a sponsor to be coupled with a particular magazine.

A spokeswoman for the Media Group said this year's "Fashion Rocks" supplement will have more edit pages than last year's edition. Sources said Jennifer Lopez will be on the cover, though Beckman said he was unable to discuss it. — Irin Carmon

SO LONG, FAREWELL, ADIEU, AUF WIEDERSEHEN: "The Sopranos" is known for being unerring and deliberate in its cultural references, so the magazine world couldn't help but notice the prominent role Departures magazine played in the penultimate episode of the show, which aired Sunday. In the episode, Tony Soprano peruses a copy at his therapist's office, ripping out a recipe for a Basque beef marinade, only to be lambasted by his psychologist for doing so. The sheer number of times Departures was mentioned seemed too obvious — did it speak to paid product placement? Was it indicative of the distant corporate relationship between Time Warner-owned HBO and Departures parent American Express Publishing, which publishes in partnership with Time Inc.? Apparently, none of the above. A spokeswoman for HBO said the show never has product placements and that the corporate connection was irrelevant. (In past seasons, Soprano also has been seen reading The Robb Report and Yachting magazine.) Richard Story, editor in chief of Departures, said that years ago, he had received a letter from David Chase, the show's creator, praising a particular article, though Story's subsequent offer to write for the magazine was declined for lack of time. And indeed, Chase himself wrote the scene in question, the HBO spokeswoman said. At press time, Story had not yet seen the scene, having missed it by a few minutes. But, like a few online critics, he speculated the repeated use of the word "departures" wasn't a coincidence in an episode that involved many grisly ends. "That's the brilliance of 'The Sopranos,'" he said. "A cigar is never just a cigar." And Basque beef is never just Basque beef? — I.C.
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