Ivens exits in major shake-up for US edition of OK

The American version of Richard Desmond-owned celebrity weekly OK – which reportedly lost almost $35 million last year – is undergoing a major shake-up.

Its editor, publisher and creative director are all being replaced.

The new editor is to be Susan Toepfer, former editor of the now defunct Hearst weekly Plain & Simple. She takes over the desk of Sarah Ivens, formerly with the British edition of OK, who helped launch the US edition three years ago. She is planning to get married at the end of the year.

Susan Toepfer has been in publishing for 30 years. She worked at People for five years and at one time was reported to be in the running for the top editor’s job. When she was passed over in 2002 she left and became editor of Rosie, the magazine founded by comedian Rosie O’Donnell.

According to the NY Post, Richard Desmond has spent about $100 million on the US edition of OK since its launch. How much went on buying the exclusive rights to celebrity babies? About $20 million according to The Post.

Will the magazine continue top go after celebrity baby pictures?

General manager Kent Brownridge insists they will. “If Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have another baby we’ll be in there bidding”. He admitted that there might however be a top to their bidding – perhaps $2 million, which may not be enough to to beat rival US celeb weekly People.

For the US rights to the Brangelina twins People is said to have bid $11 million.

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