Max Limpag has posted about his work converting WordPress to run a magazine/news website.
WordPress, however, is an extensible website content management system that can be used to run magazine-type websites. Here are steps I took to turn this online magazine on Cebu from a blog into its current presentation. I’m still working on it, though, so you might encounter issues.
For those interested, I will be releasing this theme (based on Nautica05 of Open Source Templates) and in two flavors: one as one-click install blogging template and another as framework for a magazine-type website.
He goes over things like categories as sections, index page as portal, category pages and of course summary blurbs, and explains more or less what he did for each area of the site. A very interesting read that might help you in some of the other projects or similar projects you might be doing.