By Jeffrey Blyth in New York and Alyson Fixter
Plans to launch an American edition of OK! magazine have hit a road
block following a court decision that the title’s new editor is still
contractually bound into her previous job at a rival title.
British journalist Nicola McCarthy has been told by a New York judge
that under her contract with Us , where she is executive editor, she
cannot leave her position until April next year.
McCarthy previously worked as editor of British OK! in London.
She was poached from US to front the American edition in January.
Wenner, publisher of Us , who was reportedly furious at McCarthy’s
decision to quit, claims her $240,000 contract prohibits her from
working for a rival publication until April 2006.
He is also seeking $5 million damages from Northern and Shell, publisher of OK!
In a court hearing in New York it was alleged that McCarthy had tried to lure away US staff to join her on OK!
Judge Charles Haight, issuing a temporary injunction, ruled that OK! was a “competing publication”
and that McCarthy had breached her contract and had acted in “bad faith”.
in court papers, revealed that when he was trying to recruit McCarthy,
he had agreed to pay $45,000 to a children’s charity to persuade
Northern and Shell to let her make the move to America.
Northern and Shell has insisted the new magazine will appear by the end of the year, as planned.