OLYMPIC OVATIONS EXTEND TO MAGAZINE COVER CROWN

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The repercussions of the January attack on U.S. figure skater Nancy Kerrigan by associates close to her rival, Tonya Harding, were evident throughout the just-concluded 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer-and in the February Cover Story survey.

The monthly Cover Story survey assigns point values to celebrities' cover appearances on more than 30 of the nation's leading publications, based on factors such as prominence of photo and frequency of publication.

In January, when the Kerrigan-Harding conflict topped the survey, the cover appearances of the two figure skaters were factored together for an overall score.

But in February, several magazines, including Newsweek, Time, and TV Guide, featured either Ms. Harding or Ms. Kerrigan for cover stories that were more about the Winter Games than the next development in their sordid soap opera.

As a result, Cover Story editors have decided to lump together coverage of Ms. Harding, Ms. Kerrigan and the Winter Olympics into one overall story-the Winter Olympics drama. That story generated 12 covers for 12 points and first place in the February survey.

The month's runner-up was talk show chattress Oprah Winfrey with 7 points. As usual, Ms. Winfrey earned her points by doing nothing more than being, well, more or less Oprah.

Most of her cover appearances can be attributed to supermarket tabloids like the National Enquirer or Star, which closely scrutinize her life, loves and attempts to shed more pounds.

Placing third was actress Geena Davis, who scored 6 points with appearances on GQ and Premiere. Ms. Davis will next be seen in the upcoming film "Angie."

The former Mrs. John F. Kennedy, Jacqueline Onassis, tied for fourth with pop music megastar Michael Jackson. Both received 5 points by appearing on five covers.

News that Ms. Onassis is being treated for lip cancer put her on magazine covers, while Mr. Jackson got his covers by settling out of court with a young boy who accused him of child abuse.

TV stars Roseanne Arnold (ABC's "Roseanne") and Heather Locklear (Fox's "Melrose Place") also earned 5 points, but find themselves in sixth place by appearing on only three covers each, hence losing the tie-breaker.

The crisis in Bosnia finished in eighth place with 3 points, thanks to a smattering of cover appearances on the likes of Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report.

Bosnia's three covers broke the tie with actress Winona Ryder, who was featured on Entertainment Weekly and Rolling Stone. Ms. Ryder is currently starring in the hilarious Generation X flick "Reality Bites."

Rounding out the February Cover Story survey are a slew of 3 point-winners who only managed one cover appearance each: troubled child star, Guess? jeans model and grungy actress Drew Barrymore; "Entertainment Tonight" hostess Mary Hart; hip alternative band the Lemonheads; and rock 'n' roll's reigning megagroup, U2.

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