In another dramatic turn of events for Newsweek Media Group, most of the top editorial staff from its flagship publication, the once-venerated Newsweek magazine, was let go today.
This comes just weeks after the Manhattan District Attorney’s office raided the magazine and seized its servers as part of a 17-month investigation. Then last week, the co-owner and chairman of Newsweek Media Group, along with the company’s finance director, both stepped down.
Now, the editor-in-chief, Bob Roe, and the executive editor, Ken Li, have been fired, according to several reports. And Celeste Katz, a reporter who had written articles about the company’s financial woes and the DA’s raid, was also let go. Senior writer Matthew Cooper announced his resignation on Twitter, as a result of today’s tumult.
Sources close to the situation who prefer to remain anonymous say that Katz waited in the Human Resources office for hours, with her job in limbo, until being asked, “are you ready to go, Celeste?” She was then escorted from the premises by both general counsel and head of Human Resources.
Employees from Newsweek and sister publication I.B. Times have been given little news from top brass. This afternoon, however, staff members were given a press release confirming Li and Roe’s departure, and announcing I.B. Times managing editor Nancy Cooper as Newsweek‘s new acting editor. Beyond this, no other official statements have been made.
Here’s what staff just got from Newsweek comms on the changes: the managing editor of IBT, Nancy Cooper, is now Newsweek “acting editor” pic.twitter.com/F7xWA66L76
— Hadas Gold (@Hadas_Gold) February 5, 2018
All work at both Newsweek and I.B. Times has come to a halt, according to our sources. Though staffers were able to go home, most remained at the office in solidarity with their colleagues, and to try and piece together what exactly is going on.
This kind of severe action isn’t entirely new for the magazine. In 2016, more than two dozen I.B. Times employees were laid off without notice, and many received no severance whatsoever.