Several high-profile Newsweek employees have been fired from the company, including the magazine’s editor-in-chief.
Newsweek Editor-in-Chief Bob Roe, executive editor Ken Li, and reporter Celeste Katz were all fired, according to HuffPost, prompting senior writer Matthew Cooper to quit “in solidarity,” criticizing the company’s “reckless leadership.”
Josh Keefe, a reporter for the Newsweek Media Group-owned International Business Times, was also going to fired, according to the report; however, he kept his position after other employees threatened to leave.
According to HuffPost, “Their departures came after a report by the consulting firm Social Puncher, which found that Newsweek Media Group had fraudulently secured a major ad buy from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau by purchasing ‘cheap junk traffic with a share of bots’ to inflate the number of visitors to the International Business Times site.”
Roe has been replaced by International Business Times Managing Editor Nancy Cooper.
“Some staff members working under the parent company reportedly believe Monday’s firings may be related to critical coverage of Newsweek Media Group that the fired staffers were involved in,” HuffPost reported. “Katz, Saul and Keefe had all reported about financial issues at the magazine and about a related investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, which raided the company’s servers in January.”
“Other staffers told HuffPost they suspect those employees were fired for investigating Olivet University, a California Christian college, and its financial ties to Newsweek Media Group,” they continued, adding, “Newsweek staffers gave Katz a standing ovation as she was escorted out of the offices.”
A source explained to HuffPost that, “It’s all the people who were investigating the church… So it’s pretty clear.”
This month, the publisher of Newsweek and the International Business Times was reported to be engaged in “fraudulent online traffic practices.”