Newsweek Media Group Chairman and Finance Director Step Down

Updated | The owner of a media association that owns Newsweek has stepped down as authority dual weeks after investigators raided a company’s domicile as partial of a long-term financial rascal probe.

Etienne Uzac, co-owner of Newsweek Media Group, is assimilated by his wife, Marion Kim, a company’s financial director, who will also step down, a association said.

The proclamation comes amid an ongoing grand jury review by a Manhattan District Attorney’s bureau that started during slightest 17 months ago and appears to embody an examination of a company’s finances, according to sources informed with a matter.

Uzac did not respond to requests for comment, and Kim declined to comment.

Investigators from a Manhattan DA’s bureau raided Newsweek’s offices in downtown Manhattan on January 18 and seized 18 mechanism servers as partial of a probe. Authorities are not looking during Newsweek’s editorial operation though a primogenitor company’s finances, including loans a association took out to squeeze a servers, according to sources with believe of a investigation.

The examine is also focused on a intensity “money trail” between former Newsweek Media Group executives and Olivet University, a California-based Christian college with tighten ties to association officials, according to the New York Post. Uzac is among 4 top executives with connectors to a school, that has denied any couple to a DA’s investigation. According to sovereign taxation records, he was a treasurer of Olivet from 2006 to 2010 and served as a school’s clamp authority in 2011.

In new years, IBT Media Inc., after renamed Newsweek Media Group, paid a propagandize some-more than $2.8 million for chartering and research-and-development agreements, taxation annals show.

Newsweek Media Group has declined to answer questions about a district attorney’s raid, as good as a Olivet agreements, observant usually that “the new revisit by a DA’s bureau was not associated in any approach to RD or licensing.” In a Jan 18 statement, a association pronounced investigators were seeking to “obtain technical information about a servers.” It added, “Consistent with a voiced process per law enforcement, Newsweek Media Group, a obliged media company, will continue to concur with a DA’s bureau to a fullest extent.”

On Thursday morning, BuzzFeed News published a story that claimed “the publisher of Newsweek and a International Business Times has been enchanting in fake online trade practices that helped it secure a vital ad buy from a US supervision agency.” BuzzFeed formed some of a stating on an outward investigate by a fraud-research consulting firm, Social Puncher. Newsweek Media Group after pronounced in a statement that it has not intent in a fake activity described in a story. “The news cited by BuzzFeed News mischaracterizes Newsweek Media Group’s business function as reprobate and distorts a truth,” a matter said.

Uzac grew adult in France and South Africa and got a thought to launch a digital announcement called International Business Times while study during a London School of Economics, according to his LinkedIn page. He and Johnathan Davis, a UCLA engineering major, whom Uzac reportedly met by a campus Christian fellowship, started a IBT website in 2006 regulating income from family and friends. Uzac sole ads, while Davis was a programmer and writer, and a site was creation $2 million a year by 2010, a span told The New York Times.

IBT grew fast from that indicate as Uzac and Davis sensory their hunt engine optimization strategy, and trade grew by 1,200 percent in 2010, they have said. “We can immediately see how people are anticipating a content, either it’s by a websites, either there’s improved positioning on a front page or on a territory pages,” Davis told Editor Publisher in 2012. Today, a rebranded company, Newsweek Media Group, claims to have 80 million singular visitors to a 19 websites, according to a company’s website.

But questions about a company’s finances have prolonged stubborn IBT Media, that bought Newsweek from IAC, an internet and media company, in 2013. The association missed payroll and laid off vast numbers of employees in 2016, and in May 2017, a association was strike with a sovereign taxation garnishment for disaster to compensate a IRS some-more than $400,000 in taxes. Uzac stepped down as arch executive and became authority in Jul 2016, while Dev Pragad, who owned and ran Newsweek International in London, took over as arch executive of Newsweek Media Group.  

Both Uzac and Davis, who still possess tools of Newsweek Media Group, also seem to have vast debts, open annals show. The IRS filed a $1.2 million garnishment opposite Uzac in Dec 2017, while it filed an $800,000 garnishment opposite Davis in Oct that year, according to open records. Both group also have vast debts to other creditors, according to a records.

In a pointer of a financial struggles faced by Uzac and Newsweek Media Group, open annals also uncover Uzac, along with a company, owe about $180,000 to a organisation called Kings Cash Group LLC, that offers loans to companies with “bad credit or other blemishes on their financial histories,” according to a website.

Newsweek Media Group is also confronting crew challenges. On Monday, a association placed a arch calm officer, Dayan Candappa, on an evident leave of deficiency in response to a news news that he was discharged from his prior pursuit after a subordinate filed a passionate nuisance censure opposite him.

The media classification pronounced only final week that a shakeup in a care over a past year and a half had helped put a association on improved financial footing. “Under new management, Newsweek Media Group has done a fast liberation from a problems of 2016,” a association pronounced in a statement. “The association clocked adult a record assembly and revenues in new months and is in a midst of an desirous enlargement of a newsroom.”

This story has been updated to simulate a BuzzFeed News essay on a publisher of Newsweek and a International Business Times, as good as Newsweek Media Group’s statement.

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