Newsweek’s Top Editors and a Reporter Let Go Amid Turmoil

Departures follow resignation of chairman and finance director

A staff shake-up at Newsweek is the latest upheaval at the storied publication. - Credit by Getty Images
Headshot of Chris Ariens

Less than a week after both the chairman and finance director of Newsweek Media Group stepped down, several of the publication’s top editors and reporters are also out. While some were let go, at least one has resigned.

Bob Roe, editor in chief of Newsweek since August, and Ken Li, the publication’s executive editor, were dismissed Monday. It’s not clear yet why they were let go.

Celeste Katz, who had been reporting on a Manhattan District Attorney’s office probe of the Newsweek Media Group, was also dismissed. “I’ll sleep well tonight … and I’m looking for a job!” she tweeted late Monday. Another reporter who had been looking into the company, Josh Keefe, tweeted, “I have not been fired, although that was very clearly the plan.”

Matthew Cooper, who’s worked twice for Newsweek, first in the 1990s and again since 2014, resigned. “I’ve never seen more reckless leadership,” Cooper wrote in his resignation letter to NMG CEO Dev Pragad, which Cooper published to Facebook, adding “I’m resigning from Newsweek at the end of the business today. Perhaps that’s moot since the staff has been sent home and the magazine, for all we know, doesn’t exist.”

This morning, another Newsweek and IBT reporter, David Sirota announced his resignation from the company.

After the shakeup, Newsweek staffers were told they could stop working and go home for the day.

Roe was hired by former Newsweek editor in chief Jim Impoco in 2013 to revive the brand after The Daily Beast sold the magazine to IBT Media. Impoco was dismissed a year ago this month.

Monday’s turmoil followed last week’s news that NMG co-owner and chairman Etienne Uzac and finance chief Marion Kim resigned. The husband-wife duo stepped down amid the ongoing investigation.

Uzac and Kim resigned just before BuzzFeed News published excerpts from a report by media watchdog Social Puncher accusing NMG of buying traffic and committing ad fraud. This follows the seizure in early January of 18 computer servers as part of the Manhattan D.A.’s office probe.

When asked for a response on the changes, the company released this statement: “Newsweek Media Group does not comment on personnel matters.”

@ChrisAriens Chris Ariens is the managing editor and director of video at Adweek.
Publish date: February 6, 2018 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT