Newsweek in turmoil as top editorial staff sacked

A woman works at a desk inside of the building containing IBT Media, parent company of Newsweek Media Group, in New York. (Reuters)
Updated 06 February 2018
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Newsweek in turmoil as top editorial staff sacked

NEW YORK: The news media group Newsweek was in turmoil this week amid the firing of its top editorial staff, reportedly for investigating the finances of their own company.
Veteran reporter Matthew Cooper announced his resignation late Monday, saying the firing of top Newsweek editors was a “disgrace” and a sign of “reckless leadership” at the New York media group with the brand of the onetime leading news magazine.
Another prominent journalist, David Sirota, quit on Tuesday, announcing the move on Twitter.
“I am resigning from IBT/Newsweek. I am proud of my nearly 4 years there, producing serious award-winning investigative journalism under extremely difficult circumstances,” he wrote.
Earlier this week, the New York Post and other media outlets reported that editor-in-chief Bob Roe, executive editor Ken Li and investigative reporter Celeste Katz were fired, as they were working on a story on financial ties of the news site’s parent company to a fundamentalist Christian college.
Queried by AFP, Newsweek Media Group declined to comment.
Katz said on Twitter Monday that she was “looking for a job” as she thanked “the brave Newsweek editors and colleagues who supported and shared in my work — especially our recent, difficult stories about the magazine itself — before my dismissal today.”
Earlier this month, the Post reported that federal agents had raided the Newsweek newsroom as part of a probe into the finances of its parent company and its ties to South Korean evangelical pastor David Jang.
Cooper said he was resigning but questioned whether that was moot “since the staff has been sent home and the magazine, for all we know, doesn’t exist.”
He added, “Leaving aside the police raid and the harassment scandal, it’s the installation of editors, not Li and Roe, who recklessly sought clicks at the expense of accuracy, retweets over fairness, that leaves me most despondent.”
Newsweek magazine launched in 1933 and built a global circulation of some 3.3 million by the 1990s.
After changing hands several times, the title was bought in 2013 by privately held IBT Media, which then adopted the name Newsweek Media Group.


Saudi Arabia permanently revokes beIN Sports license

Updated 20 August 2018
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Saudi Arabia permanently revokes beIN Sports license

  • The GAC accused the Qatari-owned channel of exploiting its dominant position in the run-up to the 2016 European Championships
  • In April last year, beIN Sports was hit with a fine of SR10,000 and ordered to stop its monopolizing practices

LONDON: Saudi Arabian authorities have permanently revoked the license of beIN Sports after accusing the Qatari-owned channel of illegal monopolizing practices.
The General Authority for Competition (GAC) released a statement revealing its decision and announcing it had also slapped beIN Sports with a SR10 million ($2.6 million) fine due to the alleged violations.
“The GAC clarified it has received many complaints from citizens and participants against beIN Sports since March 2016 for violating competition rules in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” it said in a statement.
The GAC accused the Qatari-owned channel of exploiting its dominant position in the run-up to the 2016 European Championships, forcing fans wanting to watch the football tournament to subscribe to other channels, including non-sports ones.
In addition, football-hungry viewers were forced to renew their subscription to the main channels for an entire year as a condition to watch the Euros, even though their subscription should have covered the period during which the competition, won by Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal, took place.

 

In April last year, beIN Sports was hit with a fine of SR10,000 and ordered to stop the monopolizing practices.
“These are clear violations of the competition’s rules. The board of directors thus decided to take the appropriate measures to end these practices and the monopoly violations committed by BeIN,” the statement said at the time.
It is beIN’s failure to implement changes that has resulted in the complete revoking of its license. The channel appealed against the 2017 decision before the administrative court of the board of grievances in Riyadh. The administrative justice found the case of BeIN Sport against the GAC inadmissible.
As a result, the channel’s license was permanently revoked and it was hit with the mammoth fine.
The move is the latest in a long-running dispute between the Kingdom and the Qatari channel. Saudi authorities have accused beIN Sports of engaging in a media smear campaign against the country.
During the World Cup the channel was also accused of infringing broadcasting standards by “politicizing” coverage of the football tournament.
It led legal experts to claim that FIFA should launch an investigation into why the broadcaster brought politics into play during coverage of World Cup games.
The broadcaster was not immediately available for comment.

FACTOID

3.2bn – Number of people around the world who tuned in to watch the World Cup, according to FIFA – almost half the world’s population.