Media

Newsweek Servers Reportedly Confiscated and Staff Fired

By IWB, 2/5/2018

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Considering the recent seizure of Newsweek’s servers in connection with an investigation into their finances, one has to wonder if these firings have anything to do with information found on the servers.

Not my favorite source, but here’s the Daily Beast article:

Staffers who spoke to The Daily Beast on condition of anonymity pointed out that the fired editors had all published pieces reporting on the company’s recent troubles.

Newsweek on Monday fired all of its top staff amid turmoil that has upended the newsroom.

In a company meeting, several editors announced that the outlet had fired Editor in Chief Bob Roe, Executive Editor Ken Li and reporters Celeste Katz, Josh Saul, and International Business Times editor Josh Keefe.

The editors told staffers some of the firings were not official, but according to one person with direct knowledge, both Katz and Keefe were locked out of their work email and computer accounts and instructed to meet a human-resources representative offsite shortly after Roe was fired.

Newsweek also sent staff home for the day.

Though the editors did not elaborate on why the top staff left the company, three staffers who spoke to The Daily Beast on the condition of anonymity pointed out that Li, Katz, Saul, and Keefe had all published pieces reporting on the company’s recent troubles.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek-guts-its-top-edit-staff-amid-legal-turmoil

https://nypost.com/2018/01/18/nypd-officers-raid-newsweek-headquarters/

https://medium.com/@bpreeves/a-fool-and-his-money-are-the-new-owners-of-newsweek-financing-a-south-korean-cult-49b38946e1dc

https://www.motherjones.com/media/2014/03/newsweek-ibt-olivet-david-jang/

Staff in Newsweek’s New York offices were told they could stop working and go home for the day on Monday afternoon, the source close to the newsroom told CNN.

“Can confirm I was fired. I know nothing else. Can say nothing else yet,” Roe told CNN in an email.

It is unclear whether the firings are related to Katz’s ongoing coverage of the Manhattan DA’s ongoing financial investigation of Newsweek, whose New York offices were raided January 18. Katz reported that authorities were investigating a potential “money trail” between former Newsweek Media Group executives and Olivet University, a California Christian College.

A search of Olivet’s publicly available tax records shows that in 2014, IBT Media Inc., later renamed Newsweek Media Group, paid the school $1.63 million for a R&D agreement. The company is listed as a “former trustee.” In 2013, Olivet’s tax filing listed another similar payment from the media organization to the school: $1.26 million for a licensing agreement.

Agents seized 18 computer servers as part of a criminal probe into the company’s finances, which sources said had been underway for at least 17 months at the time authorities executed a search warrant. –Celeste Katz, Newsweek

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