OK! Magazine's $85 Mil Launch Is Among Costliest Ever

Since its launch just over two years ago, British publishing mogul Richard Desmond has spent a staggering $85 million to roll out celebrity weekly OK!, and is apparently hoping to bring the investment stage to a close.

That $85 million figure - which Paul Ashford, the editorial director of OK! parent company Northern & Shell, said was "in the ballpark" - makes OK!'s U.S. launch one of the costliest in the history of U.S. publishing.

The figure outpaces fiascoes such as the crash-and-burn of Talk magazine, which ate up $54 million of Hearst's and Miramax's money before flaming out in 2002, or the recent shutdown of Life magazine as a weekly newspaper insert - a project that is believed to have cost Time Inc. close to $80 million.

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