Newsweek fires editor-in-chief, deputy editor and 3 reporters

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.

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'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)
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“This whole entire staff feels it's clearly retaliatory,” the source said.

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.

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