You can no longer search for articles from specific authors in Google News.
As Barry Schwartz reported this morning on Search Engine Roundtable, using the author: firstname lastname command at Google News brings up no results now, and Google has disabled it on purpose. If you think it has something to do with the rel=author movement, it seems that you’re correct. Here’s what a Google employee named Erik explained in the Google News help forum:
The author: search operator is no longer available. For author-specific Google News content, I would recommend use of the Authorship capabilities in Google News, introduced last month. Integration with Google+ circles means easier following and engagement between authors and readers.
The main problem here, as Barry points out on SER, is that rel=author markup rarely seems to show inside of Google News search results.