I have 1.4.6 and no archiving and only 350 articles and an out of memory problem. I have been advised to upgrade to 2.0.2 but have not managed to do this yet.
I have not managed to upgrade from 1.4.6 because the instructions do not work. But for the site that I have 2.0.2 installed the Search option does not work and there is no properly written English user documentation for 2.0.2 which would help to get the installation working. But, worse than that there is no guide to how to use the many options available. This is so short sighted.
My 1.4.6 installation has only 311 posts and no comments whether images add to memory is a moot point. the bulk of the posts involve articles that have on average six pages copied from MS Word. These being Minutes of council meetings.
I simple do not believe that Cutenews can have several thousand posts as the OP reports.
My news.txt is 26,034,771 bytes size. There is no archive in place. The 1.4.6 documentation does not suggest archives would be necessary until the news.txt file is over 3,000 articles in size. PHP memory size is 64M so why does my site fail?
It is a shame that my website is too big when CuteNews owners declare otherwise. the website is a local government website and unless Cutenews' owner sort this issue they will lose that potential custom: there are over 10,000 such councils and many have crap websites depending on PDF file links rather than proper web pages. Sooner or later the government will step in and insist on accessible websites many of the existing website will fail.
A few years ago the response from the CuteNews forum to queries was well supported by users and Support, not any longer, even simple queries are not being answered or if lucky within a week or so.
I have no experience of other CMS but I do find that I can place news anywhere I choose on web pages, created by me using Cutenews. It is up to the owners of CuteNews to support their product according to their claims. They claim it is easy. I think it is easy, is it?