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Diana Is Favorite of Newsmagazines

January 6, 1998

NEW YORK (AP) _ If you think television newsmagazines could not stop talking about Princess Diana in 1997, you were right.

The late princess was the subject of a staggering 696 stories on syndicated and network shows, an industry newsletter reported Monday.

``Extra″ alone aired 106 segments after her death, an average of more than two a day during September, according to Video Information Show Report.

``The Diana story is going to have life way beyond the interest in her death,″ said Russ Ptacek, publisher of the report. ``Coverage of Diana is just going to become bigger than Elvis, bigger than Marilyn Monroe.″

There were also 80 different stories on the paparazzi’s involvement in Diana’s life and death, 60 stories on entertainment tributes to Diana and 45 segments on how her princes will cope.

Some newsmagazines found anything about Diana worth reporting.

``Hard Copy″ reported on a psychic trying to bring Diana back from the dead; ``Access Hollywood″ told how her death would affect British fashion designers; CNN’s ``Showbiz Today″ reported on Diana Halloween costumes; and ``Extra″ analyzed her death’s impact on hair design.

``It seems there is still a strong demand for information about Diana,″ Ptacek said. ``Even with all these stories, I wouldn’t accuse the magazines of beating it into the ground.″

Second in the affection of newsmagazines last year was JonBenet Ramsey, whose unsolved murder was the subject of 358 stories.

Ellen DeGeneres, star of the ABC sitcom ``Ellen″ who revealed her homosexuality both on screen and off, was third with 283 segments. President Clinton was sixth on the list.

``Not to sound cynical, but I was very surprised to see the president rated so highly,″ Ptacek said.

Then again, most Clinton stories came during November, when there were hearings on Paula Jones’ sexual harassment lawsuit against the president.

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