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Pasetsky Out, Ex-In Touch Editor In at OK!

Richard Spencer to take over at embattled Northern & Shell celebrity weekly


Mark Pasetsky is out as editor of OK! magazine, TheWrap has learned. Richard Spencer, ex-editor of In Touch, is taking over.

Pasetsky, the former editor of Life & Style and founder of Coverawards.com — a website about magazine covers — took over the top slot at OK! last year.

Spencer abruptly left his job at In Touch in January. According to the New York Post, there was a “monumental blow-up” between Spencer and Bauer Publishing CEO Hubert Boehle, “possibly” over Spencer upping his $750,000-a-year salary demands.

But Pasetsky is staying on as managing editor, for now, and executives at the magazine — owned by U.K.-based Northern & Shell company — are meeting to discuss his role going forward, according to a source there.

Meanwhile, OK! publisher Stephen Barr has been trying to squash rumors that the magazine is hemorrhaging cash — and losing more than $700,000 per issue.

“Financially, the reports of our ‘losses’ are completely exaggerated,” Barr told Folio recently. “We’ve said this many times on-the-record: In just five years — during which many magazines have closed their doors — we’ve launched, made ourselves a recognizable name in a crowded category and have indeed achieved run-rate profitability in the past year. Based on this, OK!’s parent company, Northern & Shell has made a fully committed monetary, product extension investment in the U.S.”

UPDATE: The press release on Spencer's hire just went out:

New York (October 4, 2010) – OK! Magazine is pleased to announce the hiring of Richard Spencer as the Editor-in-Chief of its U.S. edition.  Spencer will oversee all day-to-day management of the weekly magazine’s editorial side.  
Spencer brings almost two decades of executive experience to OK! and was most recently the Creator and Editor-in-Chief of In Touch Weekly. Prior to that he was the Editor-in-Chief of Twist Magazine, Creator/Editor-in-Chief of J-14, Creator/Editor-in-Chief of Life Story Magazine and Editor-in-Chief of Soap Opera Update.
“My goal is to enhance content, create sales growth and continuously exceed the expectations of our readers,” says Spencer.  “I’m excited about the opportunity to do that with the committed ownership and staff here at OK!.”
“We’re thrilled to have Richard leading the team here,” says Paul Ashford, Group Editorial Director, Northern & Shell.  “He clearly brings the kind of experience that can build on the progress we’ve made in our first five years and push our editorial product to the next level.”
OK!’s total audience increased 26% over last year’s and stands at 7,357,000, as recently reported in the GfK 2010 MRI Spring Report.  In contrast, total magazine readership across the industry increased only 0.9% during the same period.  OK! also reaches the highest concentration of women age 18-34 out of all leading women’s magazines, and its median age of 28.3 is the youngest of all celebrity weekly magazines. Ad pages continue to grow for OK! in 2010, with a 21% increase YTD through the October 5, 2010 Issue.*
About OK! Magazine:

OK! Magazine, owned by parent company Northern & Shell North America, Ltd., is now established amongst America's top newsstand sellers. Across the globe, there are 21 OK! editions reaching a readership of close to 30 million — including United Kingdom, China, India, Greece, Australia and Russia.  OK! can be found on the web at http://www.okmagazine.com and purchased at newsstands as well as http://www.zinio.com/ok.