Newsweek Fires Editors and Reporter Who Investigated the Company

Newsweek Fires Editors and Reporter Who Investigated the Company

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

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Nicholas Kamm/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Two top editors and a reporter at Newsweek were fired on Monday, and two other reporters left in limbo, in a purge that targeted employees involved in coverage of the company’s financial and legal troubles.

Bob Roe, the magazine’s editor in chief; Kenneth Li, its executive news director; and Celeste Katz, a reporter, were dismissed after receiving Google Calendar invitations to meet with executives at Newsweek’s parent company, the Newsweek Media Group, three employees confirmed. Ms. Katz had reported on the company’s affairs, including a raid by the Manhattan district attorney’s office last month, and Mr. Li had overseen the coverage.

Two other reporters involved in the coverage — Josh Saul, a Newsweek writer, and Josh Keefe, a writer at the affiliated International Business Times — were locked out of their computers and email accounts on Monday. They were not fired, but did not know whether they would still have jobs come morning.

“I have not been fired, although that was very clearly the plan,” Mr. Keefe tweeted.

Newsweek’s communications department did not respond to a request for comment Monday evening, but said in statements to other news organizations that it would not discuss personnel matters. The magazine’s new acting editor, Nancy Cooper, also did not respond to an email sent to her personal address.

After the district attorney’s raid on Jan. 18, editors at Newsweek assigned a group of reporters to investigate the company. An employee in the news department said that executives had vetted those reporters’ stories before publication.

At first, two employees said, the company’s chief content officer, Dayan Candappa, protected the reporters, essentially acting as a buffer between them and top executives. But last week, Mr. Candappa took a leave of absence in response to allegations of sexual harassment.



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