'FRIENDS' CATCH FIRE ON JUNE NEWSSTANDS

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Cover Story is Ad Age's monthly ranking of celebrities' popularity as reflected by their appearances on the covers of more than 30 of the nation's leading publications.

Real-life romance spiced up publicity for the cast of "Friends" in June, with the six amiable stars grabbing enough newsstand space to lead the Cover Story parade for the month with 10.5 points.

The wedding of Courteney Cox to actor David Arquette fueled most of the coverage, with the National Enquirer, Star and People all featuring the nuptials. Jennifer Aniston won a solo spot on Good Housekeeping, while the whole pack of "Friends" earned an appearance on Entertainment Weekly, which declared their 5-year-0ld sitcom to be the best comedy bet on TV.

Second place was a comedown for "Star Wars: Episode 1-The Phantom Menace," which topped the May countdown. The sci-fi extravaganza gathered 9 points in June, led by 6 points alone for star Liam Neeson, who appeared on George and Redbook.

Third place turned into a three-way tie, with Ms. Aniston's high-profile beau, Brad Pitt, toting up 5 points along with "Austin Powers" lead Mike Myers and the supernova of "Notting Hill," Julia Roberts.

Sixth place was another tie, with Latin pop sensation Ricky Martin adding up 4.5 points, the same score netted by JonBenet Ramsey, as the investigation into her December 1996 death continued to reap tabloid coverage.

Eighth place also features a duo-talk show doyenne Kathie Lee Gifford and "Wild Wild West" star Salma Hayek each gained 4 points to tie for the spot. And coming in at No. 10 is actress and newly minted singing star Jennifer Lopez, with 3.5

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