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Editor walks out on OK! Middle East

The editor of OK! Middle East has suddenly walked out of the celebrity gossip magazine after just six months, claiming the title is racked with “internal politics”.

The editor of OK! Middle East has suddenly walked out of the celebrity gossip magazine after just six months, claiming the title is racked with “internal politics”.

In a scathing attack on Corporate Publishing International (CPI), publishers of OK! Middle East, Jason Coates said that senior management at the magazine were “playing games” and he only stayed on at the magazine “out of concern” for his fellow colleagues. The Australian, who has worked for Vogue and FHM, left CPI’s Media City offices at lunchtime on July 6 and failed to return.

“I didn’t want to work there anymore, so I just walked out,” he said. “I am very happy I left. I had to get out of there. I can let other people play games but I didn’t want to be a part of it. It was the internal factors that made it difficult and, quite frankly, I am used to different conditions.”

Coates took over the editorship of OK! Middle East at the end of January after launch editor Graham Stacey left after an alleged falling out with CPI.

The Middle East edition of the magazine is a franchise of the successful UK version, which is owned by media mogul Richard Desmond.

“I took the helm and changed the magazine and bought it back from the ashes. I loved working at OK!, it doesn’t have anything to do with the magazine,” he said.

Although refusing to give specific reasons for his sudden departure, Coates said he was only given a contract a week before he left, which he had not signed. “I wasn’t under contract when I left. I was promised one [a contract] when they brought me over here,” he added.

In response, Janet Warwick, director at CPI, said: “He had a letter of offer for three months and then he had a contract and he refused to sign it.”

Asked if OK! was beset with internal politics, Warwick said: “Not at all. He is obviously a disgruntled employee.”
Daisy-Ellen Omissi, OK! Middle East’s deputy editor, has assumed temporary editorship of the magazine until a replacement arrives from OK! magazine in the UK, Warwick said.

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