Chaos roiled the Newsweek offices Monday with the firings of the editor-in-chief, his number two and three reporters — possibly in retaliation for their unfavorable coverage of the company.
Johnathan Davis, the co-founder/CEO of Newsweek Media Group, ordered the firing of top editor Bob Roe, his deputy Ken Li and reporters Celeste Katz and Josh Saul, as well as Josh Keefe, a reporter for the International Business Times, a sister company, a source said.
Katz, Saul and Keefe had been writing about an ongoing investigation of the company by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, the source said.
Roe and Li had been closely involved in the editing of those stories, the source said.
Newsweek through the years
Newsweek through the years
'The editorial staff of the Newsweek weekly magazine in Madison Avenue. New York, 1979 (Photo by Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)'
(Original Caption) New York City: Newsweek Building. (Photo by James Leynse/Corbis via Getty Images)
Men gathering on the sidewalk outside the Newsweek Building, talking among themselves, being observed by the Federal Bureau of Investigations. (Photo by Ralph Morse/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)
American diplomat, and recently released hostage, Victor Tomseth poses with his wife Wallapa at West Point Military Base, West Point, New York, February 8, 1981. He holds a copy of Newsweek magazine that features the headline story of his release, along with 51 others, after 444 days of captivity in the Iranian Hostage Crisis. (Photo by Robert R. McElroy/Getty Images)
An employee of a store holds up copies of a Newsweek magazine bearing a picture of German Chancellor Angela Merkel for the photographer at the main train station in Berlin December 13, 2011. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch (GERMANY - Tags: POLITICS MEDIA)
A copy of Newsweek magazine sits on a newsstand in New York October 18, 2012. Newsweek, the venerable U.S. weekly magazine covering current events, will publish its final print edition on Dec. 31 and move to an all-digital format early next year, two top executives said on Thursday. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri (UNITED STATES - Tags: MEDIA BUSINESS)
The cover of Newsweek Magazine for the week that the Berlin Wall fell in November 1989 photographed by Robert Wallis. (Photo by robert wallis/Corbis via Getty Images)
ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN: Pakistani men read the latest edition of the US-based magazine Newsweek at a book shop in Islamabad, 08 May 2005. Pakistan expressed deep dismay and called for an inquiry over reports that copies of Islam's sacred text, the Koran, were desecrated at the US naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. 'The government of Pakistan is deeply dismayed by a news item carried by the latest edition of Newsweek magazine about the reported desecration of the holy Koran,' foreign office spokesman Jalil Abbas Jilani told AFP. AFP PHOTO/Farooq NAEEM (Photo credit should read FAROOQ NAEEM/AFP/Getty Images)
TO GO WITH AFP STORY US-IRAQ-ELECTIONS-POLITICS-MEDIA A man reads the March 8, 2010 issue of Newsweek in Washington,DC. The weekly magazine discusses former US President George W. Bush's role and the emergence of democracy in Iraq. AFP PHOTO/Jewel SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MAY 05: People stand outside Newsweek headquarters in midtown Manhattan on May 5, 2010 in New York City. The Washington Post Company has announced that they plan to sell it's subsidiary Newsweek magazine, which it has owned since 1961, and have hired an investment banking firm to broker the deal. Newsweek is one of the top three newsweeklies in the US. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - MAY 05: In this photo illustration a copy of Newsweek magazine and a copy of the Washington Post is shown on May 5, 2010 in Washington, DC. The Washington Post Company has announced that they plan to sell Newsweek and have hired an investment banking firm to broker the deal. (Photo Illustration by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
A Newsweek magazine is viewed by a reader on June 29, 2011 in Washington, DC from the July 4 and 11, 2011 double issue of 'Newsweek' featuring a cover photo that shows a computer-generated image of Princess Diana walking with Kate Middleton to depict what she might have looked like on her fiftieth birthday on July 1, 2011. The article inside was written by Diana biographer Tina Brown. Many readers believe the image to be tacky. AFP PHOTO / Karen BLEIER (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)
LEWISTON/IDAHO STATE /USA _ American News magazine Time and Newsweek Osama ben Laden dean news on recently american issues 7 April 2011(PHOTO BY FRANCIS JOSEPH DEAN/DEAN PICTURES) (Photo by Francis Dean/Corbis via Getty Images)
This photo illustration shows a man reading a copy of the new print edition of Newsweek magazine in Washington on March 10, 2014. Newsweek, online only since the end of 2012, returned to print on March 7 in the United States and Europe. Parent company IBT Media is taking a gamble in re-launching the once-iconic news weekly, which has nearly disappeared in the face of serious financial difficulties. In crafting its print resurrection, the New York-based online media group, led by French businessman Etienne Uzac, has adopted a strategy that goes against current practices. The new magazine will seek to position itself as a high-end product, in particular with higher quality paper and printing than its competitors. AFP PHOTO/Nicholas KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
This December 24, 2012 photo shows the final print edition of Newsweek, seen here in Washington, DC. Newsweek ends its 80-year run as a weekly news magazine with a final print edition published this week with a December 31, 2012 date. The magazine went with a vintage photo of its old Midtown Manhattan headquarters in New York for the cover shot and a Twitter hashtage headline of '#lastprintissue.â AFP PHOTO / Karen BLEIER (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)
Editors told staffers not to work until the company briefs them on what happened.
In addition, staffers at the International Business Times were not paid Monday as expected.
"At this moment the entire staff is angry, frustrated and confused,” the source said.
In recent weeks, in addition to the ongoing investigation, Newsweek had to place Chief Content Officer Dayan Candappa on leave following allegations that he repeatedly sexually harassed a woman while a top official at Reuters.
The company hired a law firm to investigate Cadappa’s conduct.
On Jan. 31, Etienne Uzac and Marion Kim resigned from their roles as chairman and finance director at Newsweek Media Group.
On Jan 18, sources told The Daily News that the DA’s Major Economic Crimes bureau has been investigating Uzac.
The District Attorney’s investigators raided the offices Jan. 18, and took pictures of the company’s computer equipment in the server room.
Newsweek officials could not be reached for comment.