Culture&Arts

Company Fires Top Staff in Massive Editorial Shakeup — Newsweek Bloodbath

Company Fires Top Staff in Massive Editorial Shakeup — Newsweek Bloodbath

Staff in Newsweek's NY offices were told they could stop working and go home for the day on Monday afternoon, multiple sources said.

Johnathan Davis, the co-founder of Newsweek Media Group, ordered the firing of top editor Bob Roe, his deputy Ken Li and reporter Celeste Katz.

Some staff members working under the parent company reportedly believe of Newsweek Media Group the fired staffers were involved in. One anonymous employee told The Wrap that the publication "has descended into a content farm for last-resort clickbait".

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.

The editorial departures come just a week after Newsweek's own report that Etienne Uzac, Newsweek Media Group's co-owner and chairman, and his wife Marion Kim, who was director of finance, stepped down following the raid by NY authorities. Another reports that, after being fired, Katz left the offices to a standing ovation from her now-former colleagues.

Photo The Newsweek Media Group has struggled financially in the past few years, undergoing multiple rounds of layoffs.

More news: New iPhones Could Use Intel Modems (NASDAQ:AAPL)

On Thursday morning, BuzzFeed News published a story that claimed "the publisher of Newsweek and the International Business Times has been engaging in fraudulent online traffic practices that helped it secure a major ad buy from a U.S. government agency". A message sent by Mic to Keefe's Newsweek email address on Monday afternoon bounced back.

In addition, International Business Times staffers were not paid Monday as expected. According to that staffer, editors are trying to prevent Keefe's dismissal. Uzac stepped down as chief executive and became chairman in July 2016, while Dev Pragad, who owned and ran Newsweek International in London, took over as chief executive of Newsweek Media Group.

Roe declined to comment to CNN, beyond confirming that he was sacked. 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. "And everyone is really pissed". "We don't really have a newsroom anymore".

That staffer said that there had been conversations among some employees about whether there was a way to make a statement to Newsweek Media Group to express solidarity with their co-workers who were fired Monday. Saul, the same source said, is on vacation and thus far has not been told that he's been fired. Editors told staffers not to work until the company provided answers about the decision. "We feel disgusting that they're gone".

Newsweek senior writer Matthew Cooper resigned in protest. The veteran reporter did not immediately return a phone call from Mic requesting comment, but had confirmed his exit on Twitter and posted his resignation letter in full. "This coup d'grace comes at the end of a string of scandals and missteps during your tenure".


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