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Newsweek fires top editors who reported on DA probe into Newsweek's finances

07 February 2018

Two of Newsweek's top editors - editor in chief Bob Roe and executive editor Kenneth Li - were abruptly fired from the company on Monday, along with reporter Celeste Katz.

Katz and Saul shared bylines on reports on investigators from the Manhattan district attorney's office raiding Newsweek offices.

Katz said on Twitter Monday that she was "looking for a job" as she thanked "the courageous Newsweek editors and colleagues who supported and shared in my work - especially our recent, hard stories about the magazine itself - before my dismissal today".

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

In a freaky twist, NMG co-founder Jonathan Davis - who was fingered in a Newsweek report for having an $800,000 federal tax lien filed against him last October - will return to the company as interim chief content officer, the company said Monday. Saul, the same source said, is on vacation and thus far has not been told that he's been fired.

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

"It's the installation of editors, not Li and Roe, who recklessly sought clicks at the expense of accuracy, retweets over fairness, that leaves me most despondent not only for Newsweek but for other publications that don't heed the lessons of this publication's fall", Cooper said in the letter.

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. The former employee described their last months at Newsweek as a traffic-driven, "permanent culture of fear" that led them to worry that they'd be fired at any time.

In an internal staff memo obtained by CNN, Newsweek announced that International Business Times Editor Nancy Cooper will take over as acting editor of Newsweek.

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Li, Katz, Saul, and Keefe had all written about financial troubles facing the magazine, which has been the subject of financial investigations. A message sent by Mic to Keefe's Newsweek email address on Monday afternoon bounced back.

The Newsweek staffer said the firings now "look like retribution". Uzac, Kim and other Newsweek Media Group executives have direct ties to the university.

"At this moment the entire staff is angry, frustrated and confused", a source said. Some Newsweek staffers are even packing up their desks in anticipation for the worst; others said wryly that they may head to the bar.

"We don't have upper management anymore", one staffer said.

Newsweek staffers told both the Daily Beast and BuzzFeed that they were concerned the firings were in retaliation for covering the magazine's legal woes.

Editors have told their staffers not to work until the company tells them exactly what is happening. "We feel awful that they're gone". Li was overseeing the coverage, and the New York Post reported that Roe was as well.

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

Money reached editor-in-chief Bob Roe, who said, "Can confirm I was sacked".

Newsweek fires top editors who reported on DA probe into Newsweek's finances