Vanity is contagious and, from a business perspective, it doesn't hurt to have a cult of personality.
Multiple magazines have sprung from the success of others. Time led to Newsweek. The popularity of Playboy led to a raunchier competitor, Penthouse, as well as tamer "lad mags" such as Maxim and FHM.
Success has also come to the ranks of personality-driven publications.
Building upon the television success of its namesake, Martha Stewart Living hit newsstands in 1990 from publisher Time. Ownership of the once quarterly publication was retained by Stewart when she and Time parted company in 2007, and it is now published monthly by her company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.
According to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, for the six months ending June 30, Martha Stewart Living had a total paid and verified circulation of more than 2 million.
That publication's success no doubt was on the mnd of the folks behind the 2004 launch of O, The Oprah Winfrey Magazine, which like others has a long tradition of featuring the star prominently on its cover -- and an audited circulation of nearly 2.5 million, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. A sister publication was discontinued in 2008.
In 2005, The Reader's Digest Association began publishing Every Day with Rachael Ray, a magazine revolving around the perky Food Network personality who went on to host her own daytime talk show. In a year's time it went from seven issues a year to 10. It was named "Magazine Launch of the Year" by Advertising Age magazine.
In October an announcement was made that the magazine would be acquired by Meredith, the media and marketing company behind Better Homes and Gardens, Parents, Family Circle, Ladies' Home Journal and Recipe.com.
At the time of the announcement, the magazine had, according to Meredith, "an audience of 7.3 million with a rate base of 1.7 million, as well as a robust Web site."
Financial terms of the agreement will not be disclosed, and the acquisition will not have material effect on Meredith's fiscal 2012 performance.
Less successful, however, was comedienne and talk show host Rosie O'Donnell's 2000 foray into magazines. O'Donnell's name and visage took over the former McCall's magazine in an attempt to benefit from (and compete with) the success Oprah had. Rosie started strong with a circulation of 3.5 million, but by 2003 a power struggle between O'Donnell and publisher Gruner+Jahr USA led to its demise and a volley of lawsuits.