Wednesday, 19 September, 2018

Top editors suddenly out — Chaos at Newsweek

Top editors suddenly out — Chaos at Newsweek Top editors suddenly out — Chaos at Newsweek
Melinda Barton | 07 February, 2018, 01:06

Employees at Newsweek have been told that editor-in-chief Bob Roe and executive editor Ken Li have been fired, sources with knowledge of the situation told CNN. Two other reporters, Josh Saul of Newsweek and Josh Keefe of the International Business Times, both lost access to their e-mail accounts on Monday.

Veteran journalist Matt Cooper, a throwback to Newsweek's glory days when it was still owned by Katharine Graham and the Washington Post Co., resigned from the troubled publication in a letter to the current chief executive on Monday. In a letter to Newsweek CEO Dev Pragad, Cooper called the firings a "disgrace".

"The coup de grace comes at the end of a string of scandals and missteps during your tenure", he said.

Cooper went on to say he has never seen such "reckless" leadership in 30 years.

After her dismissal, Katz tweeted: "My warmest thanks to the fearless Newsweek editors and colleagues who supported and shared in my work - especially our recent, hard stories about the magazine itself - before my dismissal today". I'll sleep well tonight. and I'm looking for a job!' she tweeted. The company itself has declined to comment.

The reported sackings follow a raid on Newsweek Media Group's United States offices in January by the Manhattan district attorney, in which several servers were confiscated as part as an investigation into the company's finances. Katz is the sole byline on a piece on the leave of absence of Newsweek chief content officer and IBT global editor in chief Dayan Candappa following sexual harassment allegations against him.

The raid was reported in an article by Katz and reporter Josh Saul, which was published on Newsweek.

The investigation into allegations of fraud at the Newsweek Media Group, began around a year and a half ago.

Roe and Li had been closely involved in the editing of those stories, a source said.

Veteran reporter Matthew Cooper announced his resignation late Monday, saying the firing of top Newsweek editors was a "disgrace" and a sign of "reckless leadership" at the NY media group with the brand of the onetime leading news magazine.

Three staffers told Mic that both Roe and Li had been supportive of Katz's and Saul's reporting on the tumultuous developments at Newsweek Media Group in the past two months. Li and Katz confirmed their firings on Twitter.

"We have been doing good work under an editorial staff that has been working hard to protect us", that staffer told Mic. Keefe's job is safe at this time (as far as he knows), but Saul's status is not yet clear.

The source also said that staff in NY were told they could go home for the day, though not everyone left.

"We don't have upper management anymore", one staffer said. "No hope for the future".

Multiple sources said staffers at Newsweek are anxious for their jobs and have started to reach out to their networks about other employment possibilities. Jang heads a sect of Christianity known as "the Community", whose members routinely worked for Uzac's International Business Times prior to his purchase of Newsweek.

"At this moment the entire staff is angry, frustrated and confused", a source said.